By Laura Cassidy
Seattle artist Dylan Neuwirth is all about engagement—the social media kind. His mostly neon-based art gets at the irony, loneliness, and potential of digital catch-phrases and internet lingo.
“My work is focused on the intersection of IRL and the internet, specifically our relationships with social media, how it makes us feel or defines our identities,” is how he puts it.
So it was “only natural” that he ask his girlfriend Rian Robison to marry him on Facebook recently. “People would expect it!” he told us.
“After I knew that it was time for this kind of communication between us, I made the pattern for the neon. I had it fabricated at Western Neon on about a week,” Neuwirth recalls.
“After I picked it up, I took about 57 shots of it to get the right one and set up the post. It was just sitting there ready to go with the text, ‘Let’s share our life Rian.’ But I’m like, ‘When and how I am going to do this without being corny?!’ So I just left it unposted, closed my phone and came in to our apartment exhausted.”
“I get inside and she’s been out with friends and is sun-kissed, gorgeous, and being funny and I’m like energized, so…now! Do it now! I open my phone and post the image with her tagged and then say, ‘Do you want to see something beautiful?'”
Neuwirth showed her the post and the couple “freaked out and kissed!!”
The artist says it happened “in real time and on Facebook at the same time. It was magic really. Like being in a stadium or something. People flipped out.”
Robison, for her part, went through her dude’s photos of past work and found the piece below and left it as a public answer in the comment section of the post.
The couple plans to get married at the Rothko Chapel in Houston in 2015—just the two of them. But I’m betting there will be pretty good documentation on Neuwirth’s various channels and feeds.
Feeling inspired to make your own bright statement? Check out Neuwirth’s selfie-riffing Pioneer Square neon installation before summer is over.