With all the hype about Tony Matelli's "Sleepwalker" statue at Wellesley College, I had to go to the gallery opening. Being only less than a mile away from Wellesley College, it was the perfect opportunity to make a small production of it. If you haven't figured it out, the man above is not real.
Below is where the audience sat. I sat in the 6th row in the blue / black chairs with backs. I came early, and so did a few others who pushed and shoved their way through when the roped opened.
I believe the gallery is five stories high, there were people peering over
I'll give you a recap by presenting you with quotes. I realized that I couldn't write quickly, so they are only snippets. Take it in any way, shape, or form.
"...fuck the rich..."
"...vomiting, ultimate form of rejection."
"...I felt kinda dumb."
"...I felt zombified."
"...corporate hood ornamentation."
"...you see the thing first as what it is..."
"... masculinity in crisis."
"...this is a sculpture called fucked."
"...eternal flame to waste."
"... pure fidelity..."
"...I am not a provocateur."
After Tony Matelli's talk, the director opened the floor to questions and answers. There were a few questions and a statement.
Somewhere behind me over my left shoulder, a question was asked. Well... it started as a question, but look a wrong turn 15 seconds into it, it ended up being a small protest. It went on and on, a few grumbles and whispers came from the audience, mostly from the students. A few students rolled their eyes, and one student in front of me caught my eye and she rolled her eyes. I just smiled at her, trying to stay "neutral".
Tony Matelli response to this was "Are there questions?"
I clapped my hands and so did a few other audience members.
"...media's attention is completely surprising."
"... I haven't read about much of the stuff because I don't care."
"...the narrative has gotten weird..."
Behind me a student quietly asked her friend, "Why does he make him wear tighty whitey's?"
"This is not an art conversation anymore..."
Tony started talking about his studio, how many people worked for him, and that he had a studio manager. This provoked me to ask a question. I raised my hand. It was announced that this would be the last question of the evening. I was bouncing up and down in my seat and quietly saying "pick me, pick me" and he did.
I asked, "Are you rich?"
His answer was, "No..." and laughed and the audience clapped. I felt that it was an appropriate question to close the circle on his talk. If you are interested in why this question was asked, look up "A Weed Grows in Brooklyn" followed by his name.
Here are a few interesting links.
- Q&A with Tony Matelli, artist behind Wellesley College's scantily-clad sleepwalking statue
- An Open Letter to Wellesley College's Art Museum
- Controversial Underwear 'Sleepwalker' Sculptor Says Haters Should Spend More Time With The Guy
- At Wellesley, Debate Over a Statue in Briefs
- Tony Matelli
Our local gossip website, "The Swellesley Report" provides a good overview and sequence of events.
I'll be revisiting the museum at a later date to see his pieces when there are less people.
Quilt & Bitch