A Side Splitting Medieval TikTok Account: Get a Laugh at Medieval Yoga Poses & Much More

@greedypeasantūüßė‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ Medieval Yoga ūüßė #medievaltik¬≠tok #yoga #yogalover #peace¬≠with¬≠in #fyp #fory¬≠ou #fory¬≠oupage‚ô¨ orig¬≠i¬≠nal sound ‚ÄĒ Tyler Gun¬≠ther

Tik¬≠Tok, the short-form video-shar¬≠ing plat¬≠form, is an are¬≠na where the young dom¬≠i¬≠nate ‚ÄĒ last sum¬≠mer, The New York Times report¬≠ed that over a third of its 49 mil¬≠lion dai¬≠ly users in the US were aged 14 or younger.

Yet some¬≠how, a ful¬≠ly grown medieval peas¬≠ant has become one of its most com¬≠pelling pres¬≠ences, breezi¬≠ly shar¬≠ing his yoga reg¬≠i¬≠men, above, his obses¬≠sion with tas¬≠sels and ornate sleeves, and the Met¬≠ro¬≠pol¬≠i¬≠tan Tran¬≠sit Authority‚Äôs plans to upcy¬≠cle his era‚Äôs tor¬≠ture devices as New York City sub¬≠way exit gates.

30-year-old Brook¬≠lyn-based artist Tyler Gun¬≠ther views his cre¬≠ation, Greedy Peas¬≠ant, as ‚Äúthe man¬≠i¬≠fes¬≠ta¬≠tion of all the strange medieval art we now enjoy in meme form‚ÄĚ:

Often times medieval his¬≠to¬≠ry focus¬≠es on roy¬≠als, wars, popes and plagues. With this peas¬≠ant guide, we get to expe¬≠ri¬≠ence the world through the lens of a queer artist who is just try¬≠ing to make sure every¬≠one is on time for their cos¬≠tume fit¬≠tings for the East¬≠er pageant. 

Ear¬≠li¬≠er, Gunther‚Äôs medieval fix¬≠a¬≠tion found an out¬≠let in comics that he post¬≠ed to Insta¬≠gram.

Then last Feb¬≠ru¬≠ary, he found him¬≠self quar¬≠an¬≠ti¬≠ning in an Aus¬≠tralian hotel room for 2 weeks pri¬≠or to per¬≠form¬≠ing in the Ade¬≠laide Fes¬≠ti¬≠val as part of The Plas¬≠tic Bag Store, artist Robin Fro¬≠hardt‚Äôs alter¬≠nate¬≠ly hilar¬≠i¬≠ous and sober¬≠ing immer¬≠sive super¬≠mar¬≠ket instal¬≠la¬≠tion:

My quar¬≠an¬≠tine plans had been to work on a mas¬≠sive set of illus¬≠tra¬≠tions and teach myself the entire Adobe Cre¬≠ative Suite. Instead I just wan¬≠dered from one cor¬≠ner of the hotel room to the next and stared at the office build¬≠ing direct¬≠ly out¬≠side my win¬≠dow. About 4 days in, Robin texted, ‚ÄúNow is your time to make a Tik¬≠Tok.‚ÄĚ I had avoid¬≠ed it for so long. I always had an excuse and I was gen¬≠uine¬≠ly con¬≠fused about how the app worked. But with no alter¬≠na¬≠tives left I made a few videos ‚Äújust to test out some of the fil¬≠ters‚ÄĚ and I was instant¬≠ly hooked. 

Now, a green screen and a set of box lights are per­ma­nent­ly installed in his Brook­lyn stu­dio so he can film when­ev­er inspi­ra­tion strikes, pro­vid­ed it’s not too steamy to don the tights, cowls, wigs and woolens that are an inte­gral part of Greedy Peasant’s look.

@greedypeasantūüē∑ūüē∑ūüē∑ (to be con¬≠tin¬≠ued) #medievaltik¬≠tok #fyp #fory¬≠oupage #fory¬≠ou #spi¬≠der¬≠man‚ô¨ orig¬≠i¬≠nal sound ‚ÄĒ Tyler Gun¬≠ther

One of Gunther’s most eye pop­ping cre­ations came about when Greedy Peas­ant answered an ad post in the town square seek­ing a Spi­der Man (i.e., a man with spi­ders) to com­bat a bug infes­ta­tion:

As a for¬≠mer cos¬≠tume design stu¬≠dent, I‚Äôm intrigued by how super¬≠hero uni¬≠forms fit with¬≠in the very con¬≠ser¬≠v¬≠a¬≠tive world of West¬≠ern men‚Äôs fash¬≠ion. We‚Äôre sup¬≠posed to believe these col¬≠or blocked body¬≠suits are ath¬≠let¬≠ic and high tech. These man¬≠ly men don‚Äôt wear them just because they look great in them, they wear them for our pro¬≠tec¬≠tion and the greater good.  But what if one super¬≠hero did val¬≠ue style over sub¬≠stance? Would he still retain his author¬≠i¬≠ta¬≠tive qual¬≠i¬≠ties if his super suit was embroi¬≠dered and bead¬≠ed and drip¬≠ping with tas¬≠sels? This medieval¬≠ist believes so. 

About that tas¬≠sel obses¬≠sion‚Ķ

To me tas¬≠sels rep¬≠re¬≠sent orna¬≠men¬≠ta¬≠tion for ornamentation‚Äôs sake at its peak. This dec¬≠o¬≠ra¬≠tive con¬≠cept is so maligned in our cur¬≠rent age. 21st cen¬≠tu¬≠ry design trends are so sleek and smooth, which does make our lives prac¬≠ti¬≠cal and effi¬≠cient. But soon we‚Äôll all be dead. Medieval arti¬≠sans seemed to under¬≠stand this on some lev¬≠el. I think if iPhones were sold in the mid¬≠dle ages they would have 4 tas¬≠sels on each cor¬≠ner. Why? Because it would look very nice. A tas¬≠sel looks beau¬≠ti¬≠ful as a piece of sta¬≠t¬≠ic sculp¬≠ture. It adds an air of author¬≠i¬≠ty and pol¬≠ish to what¬≠ev¬≠er object it is attached to. If that were all they pro¬≠vid¬≠ed us it would be enough. But then sud¬≠den¬≠ly you give your elbow a lit¬≠tle flick and before you know it your sleeve tas¬≠sels are in flight! They are per¬≠form¬≠ing a per¬≠son¬≠al bal¬≠let with their lit¬≠tle strings going wher¬≠ev¬≠er the chore¬≠og¬≠ra¬≠phy may take them. It‚Äôs a gift.

@greedypeasant(not) FACTS. ##medievaltik¬≠tok ##nyc ##newyorkc¬≠i¬≠ty ##nychis¬≠to¬≠ry ##fyp ##fory¬≠ou ##fory¬≠oupage‚ô¨ orig¬≠i¬≠nal sound ‚ÄĒ Tyler Gun¬≠ther

Gunther‚Äôs keen eye extends to his green screen back¬≠grounds, many of which are drawn from the Met¬≠ro¬≠pol¬≠i¬≠tan Muse¬≠um of Art‚Äôs online image col¬≠lec¬≠tion.

He also shoots on loca­tion when the sit­u­a­tion war­rants:

Espe­cial­ly in New York City, where it seems like every neigh­bor­hood has at least one build­ing dressed up to look as if it sur­vived the Black Plague. I love this bla­tant­ly false illu­sion of a hero­ic past. We American’s know it’s a façade. We know the build­ing was built in 1910, not 1410, but some­how it still pleas­es us. Even when I went home to Arkansas to vis­it fam­i­ly, we were con­stant­ly scout­ing film­ing loca­tions which looked con­vinc­ing­ly medieval. Our great­est find were the back rooms and the choir loft of a beau­ti­ful goth­ic revival church in our town.

While Gun¬≠ther is obvi¬≠ous¬≠ly his own star attrac¬≠tion, he alter¬≠nates screen time with a group of ‚Äúreli¬≠quary ladies,‚ÄĚ whose main trio, Brid¬≠getteAman¬≠da and Susan are the queen bees of the side aisle. Even before he used a green screen fil¬≠ter to ani¬≠mate them with his eyes, lips, and a hint of mus¬≠tache, he was drawn to their hair¬≠dos and indi¬≠vid¬≠ual per¬≠son¬≠al¬≠i¬≠ties dur¬≠ing repeat vis¬≠its to the Met Clois¬≠ters.

‚ÄúAs reli¬≠quar¬≠ies, they embody such a spe¬≠cif¬≠ic medieval sen¬≠si¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ty,‚ÄĚ he enthus¬≠es. ‚ÄúEach housed a small body part of a deceased saint, which peo¬≠ple would make a pil¬≠grim¬≠age to see. This com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠tion of the sacred, macabre and beau¬≠ti¬≠ful includes all my favorite medieval ele¬≠ments.‚ÄĚ

@greedypeasantWill the real St. Catherine‚Äôs low¬≠er jaw please stand up. ##medievaltik¬≠tok ##his¬≠to¬≠ry¬≠tok ##fyp ##fory¬≠ou ##fory¬≠oupage ##reli¬≠quary ##peas¬≠ant ##arthis¬≠to¬≠ry‚ô¨ orig¬≠i¬≠nal sound ‚ÄĒ Tyler Gun¬≠ther

Get to know Tyler Gunther‚Äôs Greedy Peas¬≠ant here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

160,000 Pages of Glo­ri­ous Medieval Man­u­scripts Dig­i­tized: Vis­it the Bib­lio­the­ca Philadel­phien­sis

A Free Yale Course on Medieval His­to­ry: 700 Years in 22 Lec­tures

Killer Rab­bits in Medieval Man­u­scripts: Why So Many Draw­ings in the Mar­gins Depict Bun­nies Going Bad

Ayun Hal¬≠l¬≠i¬≠day is an author, illus¬≠tra¬≠tor, the¬≠ater mak¬≠er and Chief Pri¬≠ma¬≠tol¬≠o¬≠gist of the East Vil¬≠lage Inky zine. Fol¬≠low her @AyunHalliday.


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