Miamis Castrated Bull Statue Leaves Artist Feeling Neutered

The Miami Bull, an 11-foot, 3,000-pound statue, outside the Miami Beach Convention Center during the 2022 Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

furio tedeschi is not at all concerned by the criticism heaped on his robo-crypto bull statue, which was unveiled in miami on wednesday during a major cryptocurrency conference. The chrome and fiberglass work pays homage to the bronze version of Wall Street but accomplishes the task through ultimate maximalism. stands 11 feet tall, weighs 3,000 pounds, and comes covered in programmable blue lights. it probably cost more than a quarter of a million dollars.

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Explaining his indifference, tedeschi points to experience with previous work. “I’ve worked on transformers,” she says. “And that always has critics too.” (Her concept art of him earned credits in two films in the series, Bumblebee and The Last Knight.)

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but tedeschi wonders the same as many others. what happened to the, uh, bull’s testicles?

when he submitted the statue design to his corporate sponsor, tradestation, he included that anatomy, he says. “It makes me sad to see them removed,” says Tedeschi. “I had designed some huge mechanical balls.” (TradeStation neutered the creature to ensure it wouldn’t be seen as promoting a male-centric financial industry. “Prosperity and wealth should have no gender,” says Marco Carrucciu, vice president of the online brokerage firm.)

The rise in interest and value around cryptocurrencies has sparked a debate that extends into its third decade: what place should crypto have in finance? how should we compare the new with the old when the latest version is radically different but increasingly valuable? leading to the conversation and controversy surrounding the miami bull (the new one) and the new york bull (the old one), a near-perfect extrapolation of that broader fight.

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in this latest dispute, a new york magazine headline about the miami bull called it nothing less than a “crime against god”. many viewers took to twitter to throw in their own random shots. “shame of tacky macho”, concluded @bellyflop club. “dumb and ugly,” sighed @billcorbett.

Work will eventually move from its current location outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center hosting the 2022 Bitcoin Conference to across the bay, residing permanently at Miami Dade College. miami, city of extremes and excesses, seems quite happy with all this. A poll by the Miami Herald found that 60% of respondents support the plan for the bull. unsurprisingly, crypto fans everywhere like it too. changpeng zhao, the billionaire founder of cypto exchange binance, posted a photo on twitter, captioning it: “this iron man #bitcoin bull is cool.” His post received nearly 40,000 likes.

ironically, the miami bull was born out of a meeting last summer in new york, where carrucciu met with a small boutique marketing agency. Marketers had several other, more conventional ideas, and figured Carrucciu would go for it. He didn’t. He had his sons in tow, and they loved the initial sketches for a robo-bull stature, the boys’ latest proposal. “I had my focus group right in the room with me,” says Carrucciu. the agency approached tedeschi the following December.

tedeschi was then in poland, finishing work on cyberpunk 2077, another startlingly imagined but controversial piece of work. small and tradestation rejected its initial concept, a more direct tribute to the new york bull. “They told me, ‘no, no, we want a robot,'” he recalls. the later design of the bull was quickly put together in a matter of a few weeks, tedeschi was inspired by an unused transformers concept image, a giant mecha-gorilla. (In addition to Transformers, he also spent time in John Krasinski’s first film, A Quiet Place Raised by Wolves, Ridley Scott’s HBO Max sci-fi show.) To complete the statue to debut in Bitcoin 2022, he suggested that TradeStation have it made by a Hollywood special effects shop, Onyx Forge, which has turned weird ideas into reality since Predator in 1987.

“It’s crazy how everyone interprets the bull in their own way,” says tedeschi. “I mean, even on my instagram, I have someone saying he’s a satanist.”

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