If Michael Schneider doesn’t ring a bell—FOMO should be setting in. The humorous Instagrammer has been followed, reposted, retweeted even from Megan Mullaly herself!
Allister Dean: How did the boxed wine man of your life come to be?
Mike Schneider: Well, truth be told it was years ago that I had the idea, but then I went through a bad breakup and that gave me the incentive to start saving boxes when I “self-medicated” with cheap wine after the breakup. Through those boxes and others that friends donated, I eventually had enough to make a person-sized guy. Eventually, I came across a poseable, metal, human-sized frame at a Halloween store, and finished the project one week when I was bored. My friend
AD:What message are looking to send to your followers?
MS: I think the people who it resonated with the most are people who find it funny but also identify with the kind of loneliness it implies. My favorite comment on Twitter was “LOL ur so lonely” and that sums up the project in a nutshell. I was kind of surprised that it went as viral as it has because I like to think my pain is unique and mine alone; everyone’s pain is like a fingerprint. But there’s joy in there too. The photo series follows the path of a typical relationship: meeting each others’ friends, moving in together, the proposal. In a way, this is the path that I saw that guy and me on together, the one from the breakup i mentioned. In a way, this is me going on that path as a form of performative grief.
AD: You’ve created posts that have messages in foil balloons, is the idea just a whim?
MS: Well those have provoked a lot of conversation for sure. Since most of my art and social media is me making fun of myself or in uncomfortable situations, I decided it would be interesting and funny and thought-provoking message spelled out in Mylar party balloons. I started with funny messages like “I just pooped at work” but quickly pivoted to more socially conscious messages that I believe in, like “Abolish ICE now” and “Reverse racism isn’t real”. They’ve served the purpose of getting socially progressive messages out there in a bright colorful way that contrasts with the serious nature of the message.
AD: Anything new you plan to introduce in the next few months? MS: Well I’m going to conclude the Box Wine Boyfriend project next month with one final post or burst of posts. It’ll be early March, which is the anniversary of the first post going viral. You know, I’m always surprised when a piece of art or writing really grabs people, and sometimes it’s the last project I expect to connect with people. I look forward to being surprised by what the next thing I make that grabs people’s attention is, AND THEN RUN THAT JOKE INTO THE GROUND.