If Midtown has the iconic “Naked Cowboy” the High Line surely deserves its own tighty-whitey-clad wonder. Enter “Sleepwalker” — a rather controversial sculpture created by artist Tony Matelli, which is snoozing its way to Chelsea soon as part of the Friends of the High Line’s “Wanderlust” exhibit opening in April.
DNAinfo reports pieces showcased in “Wanderlust” explore themes of “walking, journeys, and pilgrimages, inspired by the High Line as a space that people experience most naturally in motion.”
However, not everyone was thrilled about the piece or could agree on its artistic integrity. A Change.org petition circulated by Wellesley College students in February 2014 while the sculpture was housed on its campus had hoped to put the “Sleepwalker” to rest, calling it an “inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to [the] community.” The petition also cited, ““While it may appear humorous, or thought provoking to some, the ‘Sleepwalker’ has already become a source of undue stress for a number of Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study and work on campus.”
Though the petition was signed by over 1,000 people, the artwork remained on campus until July 2014. But now “Sleepwalker” is once again on the move.
What a “Spring Awakening” the High Line has to look forward to! Those interested checking out “Sleepwalker” in all his manties-clad glory can do so from April 2016-March 2017 when works from the “Wanderlust” exhibit, which also features pieces from other artists as well, will be on display.