The Tony Matelli Sleepwalker statue that recently disappeared from Wellesley College’s campus after being vandalized, now has a new claim to fame: It made a list of The Absolutely Worst Statues in the World. Mind you, this is not some highfalutin art journal, but rather a website geared to 20-something guys.
Earlier reports had Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker sculpture disappearing from the Wellesley College campus this spring, but the school says the piece will remain outdoors until July 20, when it will be returned to the artist. That’s when Matelli’s New Gravity exhibit closes at the Davis Museum.
Just imagine how crushed many students from the Purple class of 2014 and their parents would have been if on Commencement Day (May 30th) they couldn’t take photos with the Sleepwalker, who no doubt will find himself sporting a cap and gown. The Sleepwalker will also be around to greet alums who will be in town in early June for their reunion.
Matelli is said to be making additional versions of the Sleepwalker as well (maybe our April Fools item wasn’t so far-fetched? Sources confirm that Wellesley commissions more near-naked Sleepwalker statues)
Controversy over Tony Matelli’s original tighty-whitey “Sleepwalker” statue on the Wellesley College campus has largely died down since the outdoor sculpture arrived in February, but get ready for a new round of fireworks: Sources tell us that Wellesley officials are close to a deal that would bring at least three additional Sleepwalkers to the community in an effort to boost tourism dollars — monies that could stave off future overrides.
The original Sleepwalker has drawn huge crowds to town and given local businesses a much-desired mid-winter financial boost.
“Our boxer sales have plummeted but briefs sales have gone through the roof,” boasted one local men’s clothing retailer.
Although the Sleepwalker is despised by some — close to one thousand people signed a Change.org petition to move the sculpture inside the Davis Museum — countless selfies and other photos have been taken with it by those less offended. The new Sleepwalkers should be less divisive than the original, located at the all-women’s college. The new ones reportedly will be situated at iconic Wellesley locations, including Town Hall, where it might be festooned with holiday lights alongside the Christmas tree, menorah and crescent moon that appear each holiday season.
A second statue will likely be placed at Wellesley Hills train station, to give visitors directions to the downtown shopping district.
A third new sculpture, and this is where potential controversy comes in, could find its way to another college in town that was reportedly envious of the attention Wellesley College received over the original sculpture. “Our giant globe blows the Sleepwalker away,” shrugged one Babson alum.
The agreement between the town and the artist is also said to include an option for an additional statue that would welcome visitors to the proposed Senior Center.
Town officials have not detailed just how much revenue the original Sleepwalker has generated for Wellesley, but plans for the new statues are ambitious. New Linden Square retailer Sleepy’s mattresses, for example, is being discussed as one possible sponsor for the works.
Catch the annual 24 Hour Shakespeare extravaganza at Wellesley College’s Shakespeare House starting at noon on Friday.
Perhaps a special reading of this very sleepy passage from Hamlet will take place at the Sleepwalker statue:
“To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,…”
Reader LD passed along these photos of a pup seemingly protecting his owner, The Wellesley College Sleepwalker!
While sculptor Tony Matelli’s already infamous New Gravity exhibit featuring the near-naked Sleepwalker is just starting this week at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum, the art gallery has another show on the way should should also create plenty of buzz too: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s pin collection.
For the first time in our memory, the Davis will be doling out timed tickets for an event, like the MFA has done for some of its bigger shows. Tickets for the Albright exhibit, which runs from June 9-July 20, will become available starting next month.
This exhibit, which complements a 2009 Albright book about the pins, has been organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and features more than 200 pins, “many of which the incomparable Secretary Albright donned to communicate a message or a mood during her diplomatic tenure.”
The exhibit has been traveling around the country, including in Iowa and Phoenix (where a reviewer criticized the museum for going too fashionista).
Perhaps one tie-in between the Matelli Sleepwalker & friends exhibit and Albright’s forthcoming show comes via this quote by the diplomat in Iowa’s Gazette: “I feel nude without a pin.”
Maybe that’s all the Sleepwalker needs to make his presence a little more acceptable? Though where to pin it?
While some might think the Wellesley College community has issues with the naked or near naked body in light of controversy over the Tighty Whitey Man sculpture that arrived on campus this week, that’s actually not true at all. In fact, the sculpture might find himself freaked out by a couple of supposedly popular student activities.
Indeed, the top item listed on the College’s “50 Things to Do Before You Graduate” list is “Run naked across Severence Green” and #7 is “Skinny-dip in Lake Waban.”
Let’s just hope students hold off until Spring to get going on those items.
The creepy sleepwalker sculpture sporting nothing but tighty whiteys on the Wellesley College campus now has his own Twitter account: @WCSleepwalker.
The realistic-looking near naked guy, whose images have gone viral since we first reported on his arrival Monday and the ensuing controversy of whether he belongs on the all-women school’s campus, has gotten off to a fast start on the social network. Turns out he’s a Miley Cyrus fan:
— WellesleySleepwalker (@WCSleepwalker) February 6, 2014
Is the new social media account part of a brilliant campaign on behalf of the College and its Davis Museum of art to promote the Tony Matelli “New Gravity” exhibit opening Thursday night? Or is this realistic sculpture really a real guy?
The Wellesley College near-naked sleepwalking sculpture story that broke on The Swellesley Report Monday and that we followed up on Tuesday with word that students were petitioning to get the statue inside has taken off nationally and internationally now.
The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, UPI, AP, Time, Washington Post, USA Today, Wonkette and various TV stations have since covered the story, which has even hopped across the pond to the Daily Mail.
Among the headlines:
Put some pants on! Incredibly realistic statue of man sleepwalking in his underwear causes a stir at all-female Wellesley College (Daily Mail)
Wellesley’s naked older man statue is a lesson in humanity (Washington Post)
Incredibly Life-Like Statue of a Man In Just His Underwear is Scaring Students At Wellesley College (Buzzfeed)
The controversial Tony Matelli sculpture of a zombie-like guy in his undies on Wellesley College’s campus isn’t the first scantily-clad dude to make his mark at the all-women’s school.
I recall during our early years in town coming across a nearly 7-foot-high bronze statue of Auguste Rodin‘s “The Walking Man” (described by the Davis Museum as a posthumous cast) outside at Wellesley College’s campus. Students would dress the headless, armless fellow in various ways, sometimes to mark the colors of their class year. I’m sure I took photos, but probably back in the pre-digital camera days, so who knows where they are.
According to a Wellesley College newsletter, the statue was installed at Clapp Library in 1969 and was moved outdoors to the Jewett quadrangle in 1974 “where for many years it bore the brunt of class pranks and the New England weather.” The Walking Man was brought back indoors in 2006 for restoration and placement within the Davis Museum’s confines.