William Strobeck explores the eccentricities of relationships through his latest video My Lovely Mess. He utilizes the tools of technology to comment on the new means of connecting to friends and family, and how this new generation of relationships contrast to the old.
With cameo appearances by his mother and friends, the stars of this piece of video art enjoy the simplistic beauty of Photobooth and iChat. His family finds simple pleasures through twisting and distorting their faces, unaware of the split screen exploring the old-fashioned beauty right beside them.
This split screen allows Strobeck to further contrast his closest relationships with other moments from his life and career. He shares moments of shooting actresses such as Chloe Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne, as well as old footage of his mother and his hometown.
Strobeck himself is best known as being a skateboarding photographer. Since 1998 his passion for capturing skateboarders became his career, however he has also tried his hand at fashion photography and, more recently, film.
Whilst many may view My Lovely Mess as a simplistic representation of the relationships and loves within Strobeck’s life, when asked about the film he claims that “there are hidden messages in there, too. In almost every shot, actually.”
One of the most complex, and almost unfitting, shots within the film is the beginning sequence. The opening minute consists solely of a woman candidly sobbing on camera, however neither the identity of the woman nor the source of her sadness is releaved within the seven minute film. Whether she is a reminder that Strobeck’s mess isn’t always so lovely, or simply another close friend captured on camera, we can’t be sure. But this is ultimately Strokbeck’s artistic intention, as in response to questions about the crying mystery woman he says, “feel free to make up your own reason.”