A statue of a man sleepwalking in only his underwear has been a source of discussion at Wellesley College’s all women campus.
Since it was installed, more than 300 students have signed a petition to remove it, claiming it makes them feel uneasy and triggers thoughts of sexual assault.
“It honestly makes me a little uncomfortable with how real he looks,” Laura Mayron, a Wellesley sophomore said. “It’s odd.”
Bridget Schreiner, a freshman, signed the petition after she saw the statue and interpreted it as a nude person walking mindlessly around campus.
Other students have said that while the statue came as a surprise, they understood the artist’s intention.
“I find it disturbing, but in a good way,” Wellesley English professor Sarah Wall-Randell said. “I think it’s meant to be off-putting.”
The New York-based artist Tony Mateli said Wednesday that he was pleased with the response the “Sleepwalker” statue evoked, noting that his intention had been to spark a conversation about art, gender, sexuality and individual experience.