Alex Gardega: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Artist Alex Gardega is so annoyed with the now-famous “Fearless Girl” statue that stands up to the “Charging Bull” on Wall Street that he installed his own statue next to it called “Pissing Pug.” It’s a statue of a small dog urinating, positioning it right next to the Fearless Girl.

The statue was out for just a few hours on Monday before Gardega decided himself to remove it.

Gardega thinks the Fearless Girl statue that has been embraced by so many is actually just “corporate nonsense” and degrades the work of Arturo Di Modica, who sculpted the iconic Charging Bull.

You can follow Gardega on Twitter and Facebook. He also ha a YouTube channel with 42 subscribers.

Here’s a look at Gardega and why he built his own statue.


1. Gardega Thinks ‘Fearless Girl’ Is ‘Corporate Nonsense’ & ‘Has Nothing to Do With Feminism’

Gardega explained to the New York Post that he thinks the Fearless Girl statue is nothing but “corporate nonsense.”

“It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull. That bull had integrity,” the artist explained, adding, “I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull.”

The Fearless Girl statue was placed on Wall Street by State Street Global Advisors, a mutual fund that was founded in Boston. Sculpted by Kristen Visbal, it was originally only supposed to be on display for Women’s Day in March, but Mayor Bill De Blasio approved an 11-month extension. Visbal hasn’t commented on “Pissing Pug.”

Gardega told NBC New York that he’s also calling his statue “Sketchy Dog.” He had it outside, next to Fearless Girl for three hours on Monday afternoon before he removed it.

“I took it away personally,” he told NBC. “I didn’t want to leave it to be taken and certainly had no rights to bolt it to the ground. Most people were amused or perplexed by it.”


2. The Charging Bull Sculptor Arturo Do Modica Has Sued to Have Fearless Girl Removed

Alex Gardega, Pissing Pug artist, Fearless Girl artist, Pissing Pug statue

(Getty)

In April, Di Modica’s attorney, Norman Siegel, told the Associated Press that his client is suing New York City for violating his rights because Fearless Girl was installed without his permission. Like Gardega, Di Modica thinks the statue is just an advertising gimmick.

Of course the Charging Bull itself was originally installed without permission in 1987. Di Modica put it in the middle of the Financial District without permission as a symbol of America’s strength after the NYSE crash. It was embraced by the public and has remained there ever since.

“The bull is beautiful, it’s a stunning piece of art,” Visbal told the Post. “But the world changes and we are now running with this bull.”

“I have a lot of empathy for the creator of the bull, Arturo,” Gardega told NBC New York. “I’m a pretty happy person, not seething or angry and certainly not anti-feminist. My piece is not without a sense of humor. There is plenty of room for Fearless Girl it just interferes with another artists work/vision.”


3. Gardega Recreated the Sistine Chapel Murals in his Apartment

Alex Gardega, Pissing Pug artist, Fearless Girl artist, Pissing Pug statue

(Getty)

Back in 2012, CBS New York profiled Gardega, who was working on a recreation of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel murals. He always wanted to make one, butt couldn’t find the place to do it until he decided that his apartment would be the best place for it.

“I decided I wanted to create one in my space and now I have to decide about the side walls and how crazy I really want to go, as far as getting involved in that,” Gardega said, adding that he thought he could do it in just four months.

“I’ve done a lot of murals for people, including pretty complex da Vinci murals,” Gardega told CBS New York. “I’m pretty confident, at the very least, I can bring it home in four months, I was trying for two, but that’s probably me being a little presumptuous.”

Gardega told CBS New York that he was inspired to paint the murals after his father died of a heart attack in 2011.

Unfortunately, the apartment where Gardega replicated Michelangelo’s masterpiece is no longer his. As he explained to Good.is, he had to move out by November 2012.

“I’m mostly self-taught and I’ve learned more with this project that in art school,” Gardega told Good.Is. “I’ve looked at the Sistine Chapel a million times in books, but when you really start to break it down, that’s when you learn. It’s like if you’re a musician studying Mozart. But painting a ceiling is much harder than painting a wall. What I’ve been doing—which is crazy—is climbing to the top of a ladder and looking up, but it’s really hard on the neck and back.”

According to his Saatchiart.com bio, his studio is in an old house in Long Island. He attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and the School of Visual Arts.


4. Gardega Created ‘Bernie in Hell’ Hot Sauce Dedicated to Bernie Madoff


Hand Painted Murals by Alex GardegaHere is a quick video I made of some of my mural work. I have been a professional artist and muralist for over 20 years. The film is rough but it does show a body of work including my own failed attempt to repaint entire sistine chapel in my own apt. in NYC. I am…2013-08-28T19:37:22.000Z

In 2009, Gardega made headlines for launching “Bernie In Hell” hot sauce, which he dedicated to jailed Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff.

As The Associated Press reports, he sold the bottles for $10 each and told people not to use it on food because it’s “hellishly hot.” The label read, “You can take the money but can you take… the heat?!!!”

Unfortunately, the hot sauce is no longer available. According to the hot sauce blog, Gardega sold 500 bottles by August 2009. He also celebrated the hot sauce getting mentioned in Peter Sander’s Madoff biography.


5. Gardega Also Painted a Nude Mario Batali in 2010


BANKSY GO HOME BROOKLYN MURALI painted this recently in respose to Banksy invading NYC. The Hype interested me so I commented on it.2013-11-10T16:23:13.000Z

Back in 2010, Gardega also drew attention for an infamous painting of celebrity chef Mario Betali in the nude, which he claimed wasn’t making a statement on Batali.

“This painting is a sharp stick in the eye of all things decent. It is wrong on all levels and really has nothing to do with Mario B. but rather with our unchecked gluttony for all things cheap and ugly, like contemporary art or reality shows or that trainwreck called Lady Gaga,” Gardega said in a statement. “We are doomed and our culture is like a BP well polluting the ocean of reality with the oil of demonic idiocy.”

Gardega also painted a nude Rachel Ray in 2009.

Gardega told PizzaLife.com in 2014 that he doesn’t agree with modern art and isn’t “moved” by it.

“It does’t ‘stir my groin,’ as I once heard a gallery owner say about how art moves him. The harder art is to copy, the better the art. That sounds simplistic but it isn’t,” Gardega said in 2014. “No one has made a passable copy of either the Mona Lisa or the David by Michelangelo because they can’t. I could copy modern art when I was 13, any of it spot-on perfect. I still struggle with Michelangelo copies but I can come close.”


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