Arturo Di Modica first conceived of the Charging Bull as a way to celebrate the can-do spirit of America and especially New York, where people from all other the world could come regardless of their origin or circumstances, and through determination and hard work overcome every obstacle to become successful. It’s this symbol of virility and courage that Arturo saw as the perfect antidote to the Wall Street crash of 1986.
Arturo worked on the now world-famous Charging Bull for over two years at his studio on Crosby Street in the Soho district of Manhattan. It was his most ambitious and massive work of sculpture to date, so large that the Bull had to be cast in separate bronze pieces and then laboriously welded together and hand finished. Once completed at the end of 1989, it weighed over three and a half tons and measured 18 feet long.
Of course, only one place would do for this gift of encouragement to New York and the world.
In the early morning hours of Friday, December 15, 1989, Arturo with a few friends dropped the Charging Bull on Broad Street right in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The previous night he’d gone to the location with a chronometer to check – noting that every 5 – 6 minutes the police patrol would come by, so he saw he’d have to drop the bull and get away within 4 ½ minutes. But on the actual morning of the operation, Arturo and his crew discovered that during the day the NYSE had installed a large Christmas tree, blocking the way. Arturo couldn’t even turn the truck around. So on the spot Arturo decided to place the Charging Bull right under the tree, as a gigantic Christmas present for the City and the World. The next day the Charging Bull was news all around the world, and enormous crowds of excited onlookers and media surrounded the mysterious sculpture that had come from no one knew where.
The sculpture was removed at the end of the day by the NYSE, but thanks to then Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, Mayor Ed Koch and Arturo Piccolo of the Bowling Green Association, a permanent home was found for the Charging Bull close by at Bowling Green. The Charging Bull stands there to this day, visited by millions of tourists, a talisman for Wall Street traders, and a source of pride for all New York City residents.