For a few hours Monday, the bitter face-off between a bull and a girl in New York City got a curious, four-legged interloper: a tiny pug, with one of those legs suggestively raised beside the girl's leg. There was no urine, no caustic caption, but it was clear where the dog's disdain was directed.
The statue's placement by sculptor Alex Gardega marks an odd, if brief, digression in a contentious chapter that's been unfolding off Wall Street for months. It was there that the financial district's nearly three-decade-old Charging Bull confronted a new arrival earlier this year: the statue of a defiant girl, hands placed firmly on hips and chin thrust forward against the bull's implied threat.
The artist behind the bull, Arturo Di Modico, has not appreciated the installation of Fearless Girl, a work designed by Kristen Visbal and commissioned by an international investment firm State Street Global Advisors.
The firm says it intended the girl as a means to "to raise awareness and drive a conversation around the need to improve gender diversity in corporate leadership roles." Di Modico, however, feels the new statue mutates his long-celebrated bull into a villain for the sake of "an advertising trick."
If his disdainful pug wasn't indication enough, Gardega made clear to NBC News' affiliate in New York which side of the dispute he is on.