This is the Wall Street Bull. Weighing a hefty 3200kg, the bronze sculpture was created by sculptor Arturo Di Modica as his testament to the vitality of American capitalism following the 1987 stock market crash. He made it at his personal cost, and had it placed (illegally) in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a form of guerrilla art. Although the police had responded by seizing the sculpture, they eventually reinstalled it some blocks away following a public outcry.
It is now a tourist destination in New York’s Financial District, symbolizing the aggressive financial optimism and prosperity as suggested by the bull’s eager stance, as if ready to charge. And now, the golden question:
Why does the Wall Street Bull sport a pair of particularly shiny, golden, erm, balls? Could it be that the artist intended the reproductive anatomy to symbolize the reserve from which the bull draws its vitality? For good fengshui?
It turns out that, it is simply due to human behavior – particularly, tourist behaviors. Touching, fondling, or otherwise rubbing the bull’s nuts have become a de-facto photo-op, much like how you’d see hordes of people stretching out their hands to “hold” Pisa Tower. With that much fondling, the balls are certainly glistening and basking in flash-accompanied glory.