Up to now, the fate of “The ‘Fearless Girl’ sculpture in front of the New York Stock Exchange is unresolved while permit for its display has expired recently. Kristen Visbal, the artist and State Street, the corporation that commissioned the creation of the statue, are currently locked in a legal battle on who owns the intellectual property rights to the statue.
According to the New York Post, Ms. Visbal claims the contract between her and the company gives her full intellectual property rights on the artwork. State Street officials, on the other hand, assert they have a different contract containing a provision that restricts Ms. Visbal’s rights to the bronze statue. After reviewing both contracts, Lower Manhattan preservationist Todd Fine, who represents Ms. Visbal, confirmed that one document gives her full intellectual property rights while the other limits her rights.
The artist’s issue is that she wants to replicate and sell copies of her statue being the holder of the intellectual property right. However, State Street refutes that she signed a contract that stops her from doing so. The legal dispute between them has been ongoing since 2019. State Street Corporation sued
Ms. Visbal for breach of contract after the latter created duplicates of the Fearless Girl statue. One of which is on display in Los Angeles as support to the Women’s March held in 2019. As the the holder of IP rights, she has issues with how the work is not being used to support various organizations that have the same ideals represented by the art.
The Fearless Girl Statue and What it Represents
State Street Global Advisors commissioned Kristen Visbal to create a sculpture as a way to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2017. The fearless connotation is in relation to her location in which it faces the ‘Charging Bull’ sculpture. According to the corporation’s website, the statue brought about more than 10 billion print, digital, and social media renditions.
The company mentioned how they consider themselves a vocal supporter of gender equality in terms of the financial sector, as three of their board members are women. According to State Street’s Marketing Officer Stephen Tisdalle, the sculpture represents both the present and the future, that focuses on her confidence and knowledge of what she’s capable of. The statue of the young girl establishes resilience, determination, courage, and defiance, while facing the Charging Bull statue standing on the opposite side.