Matelli created Sleepwalker in 2014 as part of his solo exhibition ''New Gravity'' which was held at Wellesley College's Davis Museum. In a move which caused much outrage, the sculpture was installed on campus, outside of the museum.

Tony Matelli's Sleepwalker (2014) Image via Friends of the High Line Tony Matelli's Sleepwalker (2014)
Image via Friends of the High Line

A petition was launched by members of the all-female college against the "inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to [the] community." The petition labelled the piece "a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for some members of our campus community."

Museum director Lisa Fischman took the decision to keep the sculpture on the campus grounds until July 2014. The sculpture was vandalized as protestors threw yellow paint on it.

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