Today, State Street’s girl-power posturing makes Visbal scoff. Ever since the firm put up the statue, she says, they’ve been keeping her from using it for its intended purpose: promoting the equality of women and girls. Because of an agreement she signed with State Street just after the unveiling, Visbal says, she cannot sell, donate or talk about her most famous work without fear of legal repercussions.

    “I was willing to enter into an agreement with them under the impression that we would be moving forward together in regards to diversity,” she said. Now, she added, “I cannot use my work on behalf of women because they are preventing it.”

    In a statement, State Street said Fearless Girl was “created for the purpose of raising awareness of State Street Global Advisors’ commitment to women in leadership and responsible investing.” The company, they said, has “invested significantly in Fearless Girl and continues to do so, including by protecting its intellectual property rights in the statue itself and in the name.”


    One of the few American experts in lost-wax casting—a 6,000-year-old art form that involves a two-mold, 10-step process—Visbal had created a similar work, Girl Chasing Butterflies, for Merrill Lynch’s corporate headquarters during Women’s History Month years earlier.

Every time I revisit this story I find another vein of irony that heads straight down towards the bedrock. I kind of don't even know how to process it.

posted 164 days ago