Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Mass. college man-in-undies sculpture causes stir

WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) - A remarkably lifelike sculpture of a man sleepwalking in nothing but his underpants has made some Wellesley College students a bit uncomfortable, but the president of the prestigious women's school says that's all part of the intellectual process.

The sculpture entitled "Sleepwalker" of a man in an eyes-closed, zombie-like trance is part of an exhibit by sculptor Tony Matelli at the college's Davis Museum. It was placed at a busy area of campus on Monday, a few days before the official opening of the exhibit, and prompted an online student petition to have it removed.

The sculpture is a "source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault" for many, according to the petition, which had nearly 300 signees on Wednesday.

The petition started by junior Zoe Magid called on President H. Kim Bottomly to have the artwork removed.

That appeared unlikely, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday by Bottomly and museum Director Lisa Fischman.

"The very best works of art have the power to stimulate deeply personal emotions and to provoke unexpected new ideas, and this sculpture is no exception," the statement said. The sculpture "has started an impassioned conversation about art, gender, sexuality and individual experience, both on campus and on social media."

The sculpture was placed outdoors specifically to get a reaction and to connect the indoor exhibition with the world beyond, Fischman said.

"I love the idea of art escaping the museum and muddling the line between what we expect to be inside (art) and what we expect to be outside (life)," she wrote.

Reaction from the campus community was mixed.

Freshman Bridget Schreiner told The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/1kcwSkC ) she was "freaked out" the first time she saw the sculpture, thinking for a moment that a real, nearly naked man was lingering on campus.

"This could be a trigger for students who have experienced sexual assault," she said.

Others were more understanding.

"I find it disturbing, but in a good way," English professor Sarah Wall-Randell said. "I think it's meant to be off-putting. It's a schlumpy guy in underpants in an all-women environment."

The exhibit opens Thursday and closes July 20.

Realistic Half-Naked Statue Causes Controversy On Campus

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
fbq181 February 05 2014 at 8:42 PM

The fellow looks stoned!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
no7mk1 February 06 2014 at 7:33 AM

it should be called U.S. Congress....

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
waltwenz no7mk1 February 06 2014 at 8:15 AM

Bravo, excellent comparison !!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
waltwenz waltwenz February 06 2014 at 8:16 AM

Or it could be called Obama Hussein Barack

Flag +2 rate up
wproach713 February 06 2014 at 7:29 AM

Very creepy. Looks way to real to be fake. I say wake the dude up & move him on his merry way!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
reelanimals February 06 2014 at 7:23 AM

If it was a woman in a nightgown it would have been considered sexist. It's not like he is carrying a knife or gun. I guess underwear ads on TV must be upsetting too. Just sneak over at night and put a coat on him and give him a mop and a bucket.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
SpiritUSA February 05 2014 at 9:45 PM

I thought he was real & posing ... LOL I give it a week b4 it's painted over, broken, or totally stolen. More LOL

Flag Reply +1 rate up
namaste319 February 05 2014 at 9:50 PM


Flag Reply +3 rate up
tgenglish February 06 2014 at 7:10 AM

Forget the intellectual process and at all womens school. It is a great spoof and a most realistic sculpture standing in the snow.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
kevinhh108 February 05 2014 at 9:52 PM

Someone should knock his head off, that would make it even more creepy.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
belldn3 February 05 2014 at 9:52 PM

Looks like he's sleep walking.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Goddess Toby February 06 2014 at 7:02 AM

Art is one thing but an almost naked man statue at an all womens school?? Intellectual process?? what??

Flag Reply +3 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners