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‘Fearless Girl’ creator turns to NFTs to pay off $3M in legal fees – New York Post

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The famous “Fearless Girl” statue has been touted as a unique symbol of inspiration for women’s equality. But, it turns out, she’s not exactly one of a kind.

Kristen Visbal, the artist behind the 50.4-inch-tall bronze sculpture — a young girl assuming Superman’s iconic stance, originally as she faced off against Wall Street’s charging bull — is facing a breach of contract lawsuit from State Street Global Advisors, the asset-management firm that commissioned the piece in 2017, for copying her own work. So she’s decided to double down and sell even more “Fearless Girl” replicas, as well as NFTs, to cover her reported $3 million court costs.

“She is like the Statue of Liberty,” Visbal told The Post of her creation. “I want the people to benefit from her. I want to use her for initiatives that spread awareness for diversity and equality.”

Visbal certainly seems to be benefiting.

Artist Kristen Visbal is seen here with her original
Artist Kristen Visbal is seen here with her original “Fearless Girl,” which stands in Lower Manhattan.
AP

The NFTs, which feature “Fearless Girl” in different positions and sometimes with slightly varying hairstyles, are being sold in five stages on NFT marketplace OpenSea. The first, dubbed the “Interstellar Collection” and now available in a limited edition of 125, goes for 3.57 ETH ($7,235). It includes a short film of a comet racing through space, erupting on a city sidewalk and transforming into the “Fearless Girl,” as well as a 22-inch replica of the statue. (The digital art is also available, sans sculpture, for 1.39 ETH, which is $2,817)

Going on sale Tuesday is “The Superstar Collection,” with a single full-size “Fearless Girl” and a two-minute film, for $250,500. There will also be a series of seven playing card-type pieces of digital art — each in an edition of 100 and costing .20 ETH ($405) — featuring “Fearless Girl” slowly pirouetting against a celestial-inspired backdrop.

“It’s more than just a great investment. These NFTs are an opportunity to have a viral symbol of empowerment in your home,” Visbal added.

The artist was sued by State Street in 2019, after she created 25 full-size bronze replicas of “Fearless Girl” and sold eight of them for $250,000 each. Visbal also sold some 100 miniature versions for around $6,000 a pop.

Visbal's latest works include a short film showing a comet exploding to become
Visbal’s latest works include a short film showing a comet exploding to become “Fearless Girl.”
Kristen Visbal

A spokesman for State Street Global Advisors said, “In short, the allegations of breach include Ms. Visbal’s sale of a ‘Fearless Girl’ replica to a class action law firm and two financial companies in Australia, all of which is a breach of a clause in the contract that requires both parties’ approval before sale. SSGA found out about this sale after it occurred. The sale also violates SSGA’s exclusive intellectual property (copyright and trademark) rights.” In its court filing, the company claims that the artist has caused “substantial and irreparable harm” to both “Fearless Girl” and to State Street by creating and selling copies.

But a defiant Visbal, who lives in Rehoboth, Del., told The Post: “I didn’t make her for any company. I made her to celebrate women and for the public at large.”

According to State Street’s website, “We placed ‘Fearless Girl’ in New York’s Financial District to ignite a conversation about the importance of gender diversity in corporate leadership.” Since the statue’s arrival, the company said, more than 1,500 companies worldwide have been outed for not featuring women on their boards.

The statue was moved from its original spot to Broad Street, facing the New York Stock Exchange, in 2018.

Visbal, meanwhile, is standing her ground.

“I feel so strongly about this,” she said.

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