Since 2019, Kristen Visbal, the artist behind it Fearless girl a statue that was famous for meeting the iconic Wall Street Charger, has been suing the company that sponsored the installation.
The advertising agency McCann commissioned the sculpture as part of a marketing campaign for the asset management company State Street Global Advisors, which covered production costs. After the sculpture was set up, on International Women’s Day in 2017, it immediately went online. Visbal made 25 additional editions of the work, each for $ 250,000. State Street sued on the grounds that the artist was making unauthorized copies in violation of its trademark.
Visbal is now using NFT as a way to raise $ 3.3 million in legal fees and to promote the statue’s feminist message.
“This lawsuit has really ruined my life,” she told Artnet News.
“In the beginning I said ‘forget it. I’m not a digital artist – I can not do that, “said Visbal. “But I am Fearless girl in every sense of the name, not just in my lawsuit, but also in trying to shape these NFTs into a society that I’m just starting to become a part of – and I’m really enjoying it!
The Fearless girl NFT drop, entitled “Superstar”, which is a collaboration with the digital art gallery 9ifx, is released in stages.
A microfilm (less than two minutes) called Superstar sons Fearless girl as a comet at speed, a nebula that travels through the solar system and lands triumphantly over the bowling green concrete in an explosion of stardust.
Digital art costs 3.05 ETH ($ 7,500) in five editions. Visbal is also selling clips from Superstar on OpenSea. The first of five fell last week.
There is also a shorter video, called the “Interstellar Collection,” for 3.65 ETH ($ 9,000) with 22 inches Fearless girl bronze thumbnail, sold in 125 editions.
The last part of the function includes a “Stargazer Collection” of seven replacement cards with different views Fearless girl, set on a whirling background of starry nebulae. Each card will be sold for $ 750 for 0.20 ETH ($ 500). Visbal is working with 9ifx to create unique colors for each background.
But the big ticket to air on May 24 is the “Superstar Combination”, which includes both the full-size bronze statue and the cartoon, priced at 104.56 ETH ($ 257,500) in one edition.
NFTs represent Visbal’s first new work since the statue was initially unveiled.
“I was traveling everywhere, I was talking everywhere and I was not charging anything,” Visbal said. “My time has really been monopolized by the lawsuit, so I have not been creative.
She hopes the NFT Museum will provide an opportunity to reorganize the message Fearless girl. “The ideals behind it Fearless girl have been destroyed by corporate branding messages, “she said. “But I made it for the public and I am doomed and determined to see it used to benefit the people.
State Street intended to use the sculpture to promote the Gender Diversity Index SHE, a stock exchange fund that invests in women-led companies. At the time of writing, women made up only 18 percent of State Street’s leadership positions. Its parent company, State Street Corporation, later settled a $ 5 million lawsuit against unpaid women and black workers.
“We have a chance Fearless girl to educate the public about women’s equality, women’s empowerment, women’s education, equal pay for women and support for women in leadership positions, “she said. “But not even one of them is mentioned on the sign, which is about State Street’s intention to draw attention to the diversity of boards.
The future of the original statue is uncertain at the moment. The city’s design committee decided in April that the temporary work permit, which has been extended again and again, would finally expire in 11 months and that a permanent arrangement would have to be found to keep it on display.
“New York has to decide if they want a work of art that will be used as a corporate logo,” Visbal said. “If they do not want that to be the case, I will replace the concrete in State Street with proof of my own artist. I offered it in January, but no one in the mayor’s office bothered to accept a very sweet gift. “
At the heart of the conflict is an agreement between Visbal and State Street for the right to reproduce and market the work.
“I did not know State Street, but I was told that they had paid a quarter of a million dollars for the permit, and I was very grateful,” she said. “They said, ‘We can use Fearless girl photo for our SHE fund? ‘ I said “of course,” and I extended the picture right, forever, for free. ”
“It was a really big mistake,” she added. “I shared something with them, but it was not enough for them, because they want everything.
“The statue was not given to SSGA free of charge,” a State Street representative told Artnet News in an email. “SSGA paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the production of the Fearless Girl statue and its surrounding unveiling and campaign, which included the cost of permitting the installation and production of the sculpture and, more specifically, payment to Mrs. Visbal and other vendors (eg other sculptor, carpentry workshop, casting) who were hired to work on the project. “
As the legal dispute continues, is Fearless girl NFT reduction has been possible to absorb. Visbal admitted that there had been no sales at the time of our interview. The Superstar OpenSea’s movie clip has only 16 views.
“It has been extremely challenging,” she said. “It is not enough Fearless girl is an iconic work and it is not enough that we have received 16 articles in the last two days. You need someone who has built relationships within the cryptocurrency community, preferably for at least a year.
The opening also comes amid the recent cryptocurrency crash, where prices have fallen for currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as prices for popular NFT collectibles such as Cryptopunks.
“I think Fearless girl is perhaps not the taste of the man between the ages of 18 and 34 who is buying NFT art – so I hope to entice women in finance to enter the space, “said Visbal. “NFT are expensive, but bronze sculptures are very expensive. We put so much effort into it – it’s worth it. “
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