Lewes Artist Talks About Creating "Fearless Girl" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Artist Talks About Creating "Fearless Girl"

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LEWES, Del. - Only four feet tall, the "Fearless Girl" statue has taken New York City by storm, as she faces off against Wall Street's famous "Charging Bull." While she's in the Big Apple now, she has close ties to Delmarva, as her creator works in Lewes.

Artist Kristen Visbal moved to Sussex County 28 years ago, and her family owns a beach house in South Bethany. She said she was working on another piece that had gotten delayed when she received a call about creating what would become "Fearless Girl"

"They said 'We want a little girl with her fists on her hips and we're gonna put it in front of "Charging Bull' and I said how exciting, I'm in."

She created "Fearless Girl" in just seven weeks. Visbal says normally, she'd take 5-8 months. The statue was installed on the eve of International Women's Day in March-- a fitting time for the statue's message, Visbal says.

"We wanted to make a statement about women, the inclusion of women in the business and the Wall Street community," she says."And more important to call for gender diversity in leadership because it makes good business sense."

"Study after study shows if women are included at the leadership level, better decisions are made and those better decisions lead to increased profits. So the businesses that are really leaders in their industry need to incorporate women in leadership because they're going to establish that cutting edge," Visbal tells WBOC. "So that's why we went with a little girl. We wanted to say women are the future of business tomorrow."

"Fearless Girl" has gone somewhat viral, attracting many onlookers and supporters from across the world. Not one of them is Arturo DiModica, the artist of Charging Bull, who says "Fearless Girl" infringes upon his artistic rights. In a Wednesday press conference, Di Modica said "Fearless Girl" turned his statue into an adversary and was installed solely for financial gain. His attorney, Norman Siegel, is asking New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio to relocate "Fearless Girl" and is seeking damages from the companies who funded the piece.

"Because Fearless Girl incorporates and depends on Charging Bull, SSGA and McCann have exploited and commercialized the Charging Bull," he says.

Visbal says she twice offered to meet with Di Modica, but that did not happen. 

"I'm very sorry that Mr. Di Modica feels this way but I think this work is much more important or far greater than myself or Mr. Di Modica," she says. "It is not about the artist, it's about the message the piece sends and I have renewed confidence in art to make a statement to start a conversation."

Visbal says she believes Di Modica's issues with the piece could have been resolved with a meeting and says there's room for both sculptures, which are 50-60 feet apart, she says.

"The Charging Bull has represented the Wall Street community so to remove her is to say women are not part of this Wall Street community," she says. "And of course we are."

Mayor DeBlasio has said repeatedly that the statue is not moving, and it's gotten a grant to stay in place until at least February 2018. Visbal says over 50,000 women have signed a petition asking for "Fearless Girl" to stay permanently.

"This makes a great statement about the future of business for women," she says. "This is a collaborative work by women for women on behalf of women  I hope that it will remain a symbol for years."

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