News & Trending – Cultivating Culture http://www.cultivatingculture.com Thinking and writing about culture around the world Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:08:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 50009989 3 Paper Planners That Are Trending http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/02/3-paper-planners-trending/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/02/3-paper-planners-trending/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:23:24 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5528 In an age where people consume most of their media electronically, it might be surprising to hear that paper planner sales have been up $50 million in the last two years. Perhaps it stems from the same reason that some people still choose to hold onto their paperbacks when they have a convenient Kindle, or […]

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A photo of a paper planner with a pen laid on top of it.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

In an age where people consume most of their media electronically, it might be surprising to hear that paper planner sales have been up $50 million in the last two years.

Perhaps it stems from the same reason that some people still choose to hold onto their paperbacks when they have a convenient Kindle, or the same reason adult coloring books are trending. Whether it’s nostalgia, true convenience, or something else entirely, the verdict is still out. But the best day planners all have something in common—their clean design and creative style.

Here are a few of the best-designed paper planners that are trending in the art community and beyond.

1. Passion Planner

The Passion Planner doesn’t feature fancy cover art or pull-out folders. Instead, it contains the best of the basics. Originally featured on Kickstarter, this versatile planner contains areas for both long-term life goals (also called “life-mapping”) and daily time slots to ensure you don’t miss any meetings. Their passion to keep it simple by offering limited designs and colors has made the Passion Planner a timeless utility.

2. Day Designer

Another alliteration, the Day Designer is more design-focused than the Passion Planner. Their “Flagship Collection,” specifically created for women, includes 11 colorful patterns designed to brighten one’s day. The Day Designer also sells refillable leather-bound planners at $159 and up. The Day Designer, like any good trend, is about more than just being organized. Its stylish patterns and color palette have made it a household name and fashion accessory.

3. Calendar To-Do List Pad

When artist Ryan McGinness created the Calendar To-Do List Pad, he made it clean and simple so that anyone could have the space to take notes or doodle throughout their day. This no-frills to-do list is quaint and modern in a sea of bright and flowery planners. The 365 calendar also comes in a chic black box that’s perfect for putting on a shelf to look back at on New Year’s.

While the reason for paper planners trending in a digital age is still a mystery, one thing is for sure: paper planners are set to become more creative and well-designed in the years to come.

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SCAD or Scam? President’s Lucrative Salary Raises Concerns http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/11/scad-scam/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:52:17 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5511 A damning new report published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has caused many to do a double take on the “highly acclaimed” Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Over the years, SCAD has built a reputation for itself as being one of the nation’s leading private art institutions. But does it truly live up to […]

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A photo of Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta campus.

Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus.
GAPhoto credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

A damning new report published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has caused many to do a double take on the “highly acclaimed” Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Over the years, SCAD has built a reputation for itself as being one of the nation’s leading private art institutions. But does it truly live up to its name of being a highly esteemed university, or is it all just a marketing ploy?

According to Alan Judd of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SCAD sells a dream, and the person who benefits most from it is SCAD’s own founder and president, Paula Wallace.

Suspicions were first aroused in 2014, when tax filings showed that Wallace had earned a whopping $9.6 million that year, making her America’s highest paid college leader. Between 2011 and 2015, SCAD paid her a total of $19.9 million in salary and other forms of compensation. Compare that to Harvard, which paid its president less than a third as much during the same time period.

David LaChapelle, a renowned photographer and film director who was invited to speak at a SCAD event, described Wallace as “greedy” and “self-serving.” Prior to being invited as a guest speaker, LaChapelle said he’d never heard of the college before. It wasn’t until he Googled SCAD that he came across various articles about Wallace’s salary, the enormous cost of tuition, and how the school frequently invites celebrity guests for what appear to be promotional purposes.

“She is an incredibly savvy businesswoman who’s incredibly greedy and self-serving,” LaChapelle told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For someone to profit off these kids’ dreams, that’s really sad.”

Jenna Schreck, who graduated from SCAD in 2012 with a degree in photography, says she bought into the idea of attending a distinguished art school. However, it wasn’t until later did she realize it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

“We all had this understanding that if I’m going to this top-notch school, surely I’m going to be top-notch in my industry,” said Schreck. “Surely, I would take off a little quicker than anybody else. As soon as I got out here, I realized that wasn’t true.”

But for as prestigious as it appears to be on the outside, getting accepted into the school is actually pretty easily. In 2014, bond credit rating firm Moody’s reported that SCAD accepted nearly 94% of all applicants. At most Ivy Leagues schools, the acceptance rate is closer to 20 to 25 percent.

“We’re getting anyone and everyone with a pulse and a bank account,” said Pete Sakievich, a former art professor at SCAD’s Hong Kong campus.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to Wallace for an interview, but those requests were denied. The newspaper also sent the college a list of written questions, which have gone unanswered.

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Art Created By Guantanamo Detainees Now Belong to the US Gov’t http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/04/guantanamo-detainees-art/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 19:35:24 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5505 A popular art exhibition in New York that features works by Guantanamo detainees has caused the Department of Defense to ban all art from leaving the prison pending further review of its policy on the matter. Ode to the Sea, which opened on Oct. 2, 2017 and will run through January 26, 2018, is a […]

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A painting of a ship at sea. The artist is Ghaleb al-Bihani, a former Guantanamo prisoner who was released in January 2017.

A painting by former Guantanamo prisoner Ghaleb al-Bihani, who was released in January 2017.
Photo courtesy of Justin Norman via Flickr CC.

A popular art exhibition in New York that features works by Guantanamo detainees has caused the Department of Defense to ban all art from leaving the prison pending further review of its policy on the matter.

Ode to the Sea, which opened on Oct. 2, 2017 and will run through January 26, 2018, is a collection of sea-themed drawings, paintings, and sculptures by eight current and former Guantanamo inmates (four of which are no longer in captivity). The artwork is centered on the theme of freedom, with the sea acting as a metaphor for liberation.

“It’s easier to humanize an image of the sea than it is to humanize the man who painted it. I think that’s the power of this exhibition,” said co-curator Charles Shields. “The Pentagon’s response has proven how powerful the work is. It proves how powerful art is.”

But according to U.S. military officials, the decision to halt artwork from leaving the prison has nothing to do with the content of the works themselves, but rather the fact that they’ve been put up for sale.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson said that Department of Defense officials “were not previously aware that detainee artwork was being sold to third parties,” which is why the Pentagon decided to ban the distribution of inmate artwork until the matter can be reviewed in further detail. Sakrisson referred to the works as property of the U.S. government.

Several arts organizations and civil rights groups have since condemned the military’s decision. Of particular note is the National Coalition Against Censorship, which issued the following statement on November 28, 2017:

“This baseless policy change uses art as a political football in an effort to prevent these works—and a deeper understanding of those who created them—from informing public discussion of the policies the U.S. government makes in its citizens’ names. We condemn this attempt to obstruct the American public discourse essential to a democratic and open society.”

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Curator Resigns Amid Accusations of Inappropriate Behavior http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/20/curator-resigns-inappropriate-behavior/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:00:05 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5488 Curator Gavin Delahunty of the Dallas Museum of Art has resigned amid allegations of misconduct. Delahunty is best known for orchestrating the highly acclaimed 2016 exhibition “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots.” Details regarding the exact nature of his offenses have yet to be determined. On November 18, Delahunty sent the following statement to his colleagues via […]

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A photo of the Dallas Museum of Art .

Photo credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock

Curator Gavin Delahunty of the Dallas Museum of Art has resigned amid allegations of misconduct. Delahunty is best known for orchestrating the highly acclaimed 2016 exhibition “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots.” Details regarding the exact nature of his offenses have yet to be determined.

On November 18, Delahunty sent the following statement to his colleagues via email:

Today I am announcing my resignation as the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, effective immediately. I am aware of allegations regarding my inappropriate behavior, and I do not want them to be a distraction to the Museum or to my colleagues. I offer my deepest apologies to those who have been affected by my behavior. I will be taking this time to spend with my family.

News of his departure shocked many, as it came abruptly and seemingly without warning. But a source familiar with the situation told ARTnews that outside counsel had been investigating Delahunty for quite some time, and that the museum had planned to terminate him.

Museum officials have remained silent on the issue thus far. Multiple requests for comment have gone unanswered.

Maxwell Anderson, who served as Director of the Dallas Museum of Art from 2012 to 2015, hired Delahunty in the spring of 2014. Shortly after the news broke, ARTnews reached out Anderson for comment, to which he responded:

I have great admiration for Gavin’s curatorial acumen, which is why I felt he would be a great addition to the DMA–and he accomplished a great deal in a short time. But in the end, we are all responsible for our personal conduct, as he has apparently accepted, and now has to address appropriately.

Prior to being hired on at the Dallas Museum of Art, Delahunty served as the Head of Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Liverpool from 2010-2014. It’s unclear as to how far these allegations go back.

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Painter Natalie Frank Recounts Her Experience With Sexual Harassment http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/14/natalie-frank-sexual-harassment/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:13:44 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5482 If there’s anything that the #MeToo campaign has taught us, it’s that sexual harassment is so pervasive that it affects nearly every industry imaginable. And yet, there are still some industries in which we expect this type of behavior more so than in others. In the art world, for example, we don’t expect it as […]

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A painting of a black woman touching herself sexually. The piece was created by Natalie Frank.

The Hang Man Has Gone to Wash, The Soldiers to Eat, We Are Left Alone With Our Feat by Natalie Frank.
Photo courtesy of Mark Barry via Flickr CC.

If there’s anything that the #MeToo campaign has taught us, it’s that sexual harassment is so pervasive that it affects nearly every industry imaginable. And yet, there are still some industries in which we expect this type of behavior more so than in others. In the art world, for example, we don’t expect it as much because we tend to view creative types as respectful, open-minded, and socially conscious. But as New York-based painter Natalie Frank points out, sexual harassment is as much a problem in the art world as it is any other field.

In a recent op-ed published in ARTnews, Natalie Frank went as far as to compare the art world to being a “minefield” for female artists. Citing her own experiences with sexual harassment, Frank said that influential figureheads have used their positions to belittle her.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had run-ins with men in positions of power in that world who have behaved inappropriately, with impunity,” Frank wrote. “While none of these rises to the level of what Weinstein’s subjects experienced, they have nevertheless made me feel small; they’ve frightened, degraded, and intimidated me.”

Her first encounter happened ten years ago, when Frank was in her early 20s. A graduate student at the time, an older successful photographer came to visit her at her studio.

Upon examining the sexual themes within her work, the photographer proceeded to make a series of lewd comments, such as, “I can tell what kind of girl you are… I bet you like your boyfriend to tie you up, I bet you like it rough.” He then leaned toward her and said, “You know what you need? You need to be fucked up the ass.”

The photographer then asked for her notebook. When she handed it over, he wrote “25 nude self-portraits by this date” followed by his email address. Frightened and in shock, she was silent at the time. Looking back, she regrets not saying, “Get out of my studio.”

Another notable encounter happened right after she finished graduate school. Just as Frank was about to have her first New York solo exhibition, an art critic by the name of Charlie Finch wrote an article about her. It was titled “The Seduction of Natalie Frank.”

In the piece, Finch described her as “a young, virginal star.” He also wrote, “In the heat, Natalie sweated through acrylics and oils in a wife beater shirt for twelve hours at a time. At our direction, she would wipe away days of work in a flash to add a cascade of decaying flowers or some phallic armature.” Another art blog compared her piece to a date rape. Frank said it made her feel disgusted, objectified, and humiliated.

On another occasion, an editor who worked for a European art journal asked her via email if she would like to masturbate in a bathroom with him. Peculiar, sure, but these types of requests became quite common over the years.

Another time, an older, married gallery owner asked her if she would like to “fuck” during a dinner with 15 other people around. She later reported his misconduct, and was told he did that often. “We won’t seat him next to women next time,” they responded.

Because her work is often centered on sexuality, people often think that gives them the right to make salacious comments. But Frank wants to set the record straight once and for all:

“The content of my paintings does not give you permission to harass me.”

Indeed, if there’s one thing that other female artists can learn from this, it’s that there is no justification for sexual harassment. No means no. On that same token, silence (or the absence of “yes”) also means no.

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Professor Converts American Flag into KKK Hoods for Art Exhibit http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/06/professor-american-flag-kkk/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 22:22:54 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5478 A Caucasian professor from the University of Miami is at the center of a heated controversy after she used the American flag to craft KKK hoods. The resulting image, which blends a symbol of patriotism with a symbol of hate, has the public divided as to whether it is a work of art or an […]

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Two KKK members wearing white hoods.

Photo courtesy of Martin via Flickr Creative Commons.

A Caucasian professor from the University of Miami is at the center of a heated controversy after she used the American flag to craft KKK hoods. The resulting image, which blends a symbol of patriotism with a symbol of hate, has the public divided as to whether it is a work of art or an abomination.

Titled American Mask, the three KKK hoods are on display in the window of a faculty art exhibit located in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. The professor who created the piece, Billie G. Lynn, told CNN that it’s “deliberately provocative.”

“I’ve always felt that art could and should act as a mirror to the culture, so that we can have these kinds of conversations within the context of talking about art,” Lynn further explained in an interview with the University of Miami.  

But not everyone views it as a thought-provoking piece. Patrick Young, who works near the gallery, called the display “disgusting” and “disrespectful.”

“This is disgusting. This is disrespectful,” Young told CNN affiliate WSVN. “I can’t see it being a positive message any way that you put it. This is disgusting to me.”

Willie Sanders, another nearby employee, had a similar reaction. As an African American, he found the display racist.

“I don’t think that’s any art,” Sanders said in an interview with WFOR, another CNN affiliate. “I think that KKK symbol with the United States flag—I don’t believe that’s a piece of art. I believe that’s a sign of racism.”

But despite the backlash, the University of Miami has defended the display as being a form of free speech.

“The University of Miami supports artistic expression and freedom of speech,” the University of Miami said in a released statement. “The art exhibit by University of Miami associate professor Billie G. Lynn, American Mask, was not reviewed or approved in advance by University of Miami officials, nor would it be subject to such review: It is an art exhibit by a member of our faculty, and her art is of her making.”

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Attorney General Asks Court to Halt Berkshire Museum Sale http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/10/31/attorney-general-berkshire-museum-sale/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 17:07:56 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5471 Back in July, the Berkshire Museum announced that it would be selling 40 of its most highly prized possessions in order to fund renovations, expand its endowment, and pursue a “New Vision” plan in which the institution would focus more on tech-driven exhibitions related to science and nature. The works, valued at $50 million, are […]

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A photo of a statue. The photo was taken inside the Berkshire Museum.

The Berkshire Museum, located in Pittsfield, MA.
Photo courtesy of Amy Meredith via Flickr Creative Commons.

Back in July, the Berkshire Museum announced that it would be selling 40 of its most highly prized possessions in order to fund renovations, expand its endowment, and pursue a “New Vision” plan in which the institution would focus more on tech-driven exhibitions related to science and nature.

The works, valued at $50 million, are scheduled to be sold at Sotheby’s in New York on November 13. But that sale will never go through if Norman Rockwell’s three sons and the Massachusetts attorney general’s office have anything to do with it.

On Oct. 20, Rockwell’s sons and other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Berkshire Museum, with the goal of impeding the sale by obtaining a temporary restraining order. The suit alleges that the museum is not authorized to dispose of the works, since that decision violates the intent of the original donors. Furthermore, it alleges that the museum’s trustees failed to properly assess the institution’s fiscal status and to craft an appropriate plan.

Elizabeth McGraw, president of the museum’s board of trustees, disagrees.

“We believe we have strong legal grounds for our deaccessioning and we are confident in our New Vision plan which will allow this important local museum to continue to contribute to the educational and cultural life of this region for another century,” McGraw said in a statement delivered through a spokesperson.

William F. Lee, the museum’s attorney, called the suit “factually and legally flawed.”

But on Oct. 30, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office submitted its own legal filing, calling for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction while they further investigate the case. The attorney general’s office said it had “significant questions and concerns” regarding the legality of the sale.

The Massachusetts Superior Court will hold a hearing on a possible injunction on Wednesday, November 1 at 11 a.m.

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The Met Issues Statement on UNESCO http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/10/16/met-issues-statement-unesco/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:42:50 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5461 America’s largest museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is making its political opinion known. Following the news of America’s exit from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Met’s president and CEO, David H. Weiss, publicly condemned the decision. In a statement published on the Met’s website, Weiss specifically called out President […]

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A photo taken from the outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York, NY.
Photo via Pixabay.

America’s largest museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is making its political opinion known.

Following the news of America’s exit from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Met’s president and CEO, David H. Weiss, publicly condemned the decision. In a statement published on the Met’s website, Weiss specifically called out President Trump, claiming that the decision “undermines the historic role of the United States” as a leader in cultural preservation.

Weiss’s full statement is as follows:

One of our most important responsibilities as museum leaders is to protect cultural heritage and promote international education. For more than half a century The Met and countless other museums have successfully partnered with UNESCO, an organization that has earned the respect of nations and communities worldwide for bringing together curators, conservators, and a range of other scholars to educate, preserve, protect, and support the intellectual and artistic traditions of our shared cultural heritage. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from UNESCO undermines the historic role of the United States as a leader in this effort and weakens our position as a strong advocate for cultural preservation. Although UNESCO may be an imperfect organization, it has been an important leader and steadfast partner in this crucial work. The Met remains deeply committed to productive engagement with UNESCO and our colleagues around the world who share this important objective.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has stuck to its guns, citing an “anti-Israel bias” and budgetary concerns as justification for the exit.

“We were in arrears to the tune of $550 million or so, and so the question is, do we want to pay that money?” said Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the State Department. “With this anti-Israel bias that’s long documented on the part of UNESCO, that needs to come to an end.”

But this isn’t the first time that the Met has gotten political. Back in February 2017, following Trump’s immigration ban, the Met disrupted their permanent-collection galleries to display contemporary art from the Middle East. If history truly does repeat itself, then it’s safe to say this won’t be the last time the Met delves into politics.

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Sophie Calle’s Latest Art Project Allows Visitors to Bury and Cremate Their Secrets http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/05/15/sophie-calle-bury-cremate-secrets/ Mon, 15 May 2017 18:05:38 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5323 There’s a power and a draw in the telling of secrets. You just have to look at the runaway success of Frank Warren’s PostSecret project to see that. Since 2005, tens of thousands of people sent their secrets in to Warren as postcards, releasing them to the public in anonymity. The project sold five books, […]

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A photo of Green-Wood Cemetery.

The historic Green-Wood Cemetery, located in Brooklyn, NY.
Photo credit: Felix Lipov / Shutterstock

There’s a power and a draw in the telling of secrets. You just have to look at the runaway success of Frank Warren’s PostSecret project to see that. Since 2005, tens of thousands of people sent their secrets in to Warren as postcards, releasing them to the public in anonymity.

The project sold five books, an app (pulled not for lack of popularity, but for abuse concerns), and an immense, searchable archive. It’s been imitated in a dozen other countries and several other English-speaking websites, and wasn’t the first of its kind.

Secrets draw us, in the telling as much as the hearing. We like the idea of them leaving our hands and dissipating, losing their power over us.

This is the sense behind “Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery,” an art project by French artist Sophie Calle in a Brooklyn graveyard. She worked together with Creative Time, one of New York’s nonprofit public arts organizations.

“Here Lie the Secrets” is a hollow marble sculpture, a gravestone-like obelisk, which will stand in the Green-Wood Cemetery for the next twenty-five years. In opposition to PostSecret, secrets left in the obelisk are not to be shared. Instead, Calle will return at measured intervals to collect them and “cremate” them, removing those secrets from the world.

There’s a great power to leaving your secrets behind, if you believe in that. And the placement of this project, in a cemetery founded 179 years ago, long before this land was folded in by New York City’s sprawl, is the perfect place for it. This is a place to find rest and peace, a place to leave thoughts that trouble you.

Green-Wood Cemetery is found at 500 25th St, in Sunset Park. “Here Lie the Secrets” is near the entrance at 25th and 5th Avenue.

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Fearless Girl Challenged By Charging Bull Sculptor http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/04/24/fearless-girl-challenged/ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:42:21 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5295 Thirty years ago, Arturo Di Modica illegally installed a massive bronze bull in the center of New York City’s financial district as a guerrilla commentary on the economic resilience of Wall Street after the stock market crash that had happened earlier that year. It was only later that he sought a permit for it to […]

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A photo of the Fearless Girl statue and the bronze bull statue.

The Fearless Girl statue located in New York City’s financial district.
Photo credit: quietbits / Shutterstock

Thirty years ago, Arturo Di Modica illegally installed a massive bronze bull in the center of New York City’s financial district as a guerrilla commentary on the economic resilience of Wall Street after the stock market crash that had happened earlier that year. It was only later that he sought a permit for it to remain, and technically, it still has only a temporary permit, albeit one that has been allowed to persist due to the statue’s popularity.

Fearless Girl, a new statue of a young girl standing defiantly against the heavyweight symbol of capitalism, was also installed overnight, but her artist, Kristen Visbal, at least obtained a permit in the first place. Fearless Girl was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors for International Women’s Day in an effort to point out the lack of women in corporate boards (still less than 20% in the U.S.).

Fearless Girl was immediately popular, and Mayor De Blasio himself extended her temporary permit immediately.

“She spoke to the moment,” De Blasio told reporters. “She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.” He openly alluded to the new tenure of President Trump and his boasts about sexually assaulting women in business.

But now Di Modica is mad. Angry enough that he is threatening to sue city authorities over the permitting of the new statue, claiming that she “changed the creative dynamic of his sculpture,” according to The Guardian. It will be interesting to see how he intends to prove that an addition of a statue some dozen yards away from his own, their only relationship that of juxtaposition in a crowded city, imposes on the artistic copyright of his own.

Can he argue that the public interpretation of the space is a part of his copyright? Perhaps. But how hypocritical is it for one guerrilla artist to object to another’s input?

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