Wearing a thin scarf and letting off a distinct air of artistic knowledge, 38-year-old museumgoer Will Greyer turned heads during his trip to the Art Institute of Chicago last Friday. Greyer, who was seen standing in front of a selection of paintings for minutes at a time, tilting his head and releasing audible “mm”s to no one in particular. Witnesses confirm the display was enough to definitively quell any potential doubts about whether or not Greyer gets this whole art thing. The answer? A resounding “yes”.
“When I saw him standing there, nodding and sighing as if in deep conversation with the paintings, I immediately knew that he gets art in a way that’s deeply profound and unachievable to most,” said one witness, Erin Rogers. “From time to time he would look at a painting and actually chuckle. I was like, whoa. I didn’t even know some of these were funny.”
While Greyer mostly stuck to mms and ahs, some responses were verbal, and included turning to museum visitors near him and saying “There’s something quite cheeky about this one,” “This texture is actually very sad,” and, in reference to a Renoir portrait, “Don’t you just know a guy like this?”
Many took note of Greyer’s impressive capacity to interface with the art, however Greyer himself had no idea he was making such an impression.
“Viewing art is a deeply personal and transformative experience,” said Greyer. “If I’m responding in a noticeable way, honestly, I’m not even aware of it. When I’m with a piece, everything else sort of fades away.”
Despite Greyer’s claim of transcendence from space and time, some naysayers insist he knew his reactions were garnering attention.
“Yeah, he was definitely doing it so people would look at him looking at art,” said Lisha Knox. “At one point he turned to me and asked what I thought of a piece, but I just said I liked it and walked away because it was obvious he only asked so he could say what he thought.”
Greyer remembered the interaction as well.
“Oh, yes,” he said. “I asked that young woman what she thought about the piece but she had nothing critical to say, unfortunately. I guess young people just don’t care about art.”
Knox, it is reported, was there with a group of her fellow studio art majors from Columbia College.