Press

The Long Waits

I have been interested in the refugee problem for a while. I’m Italian, so my country has a long and ongoing tradition with [migration]. Millions [of Italians] have been and are looking for a better life somewhere in the world and sometime they find it; most of the time they do not. That’s why I feel sympathetic with anybody seeking a different future.”


Olivier Laurent

I Saw People Like Butterflies

It’s like when you study butterflies. If you see a butterfly and you pin it down and you put in on a velvet cloth, then it’s much easier to study - the animal, the colors and so on. So the beach, form me, was the place where I saw people like butterflies. They were very open to being studied, [which was] easy for me because people at beaches don’t move too much. If you’ve got too many people moving, it gets really complicated, especially if you use a slow process like shooting with a large format camera. You have to take your time, and the beach is a perfect place for this.


Rodrigo Orrantia

Nature at Large

“My pictures are not about discovery – they are far from the American tradition of discovering the wilderness,” he explains. “When I leave, I know exactly where I want to be each day, and at what time.” The only thing he can’t control is the ebb and flow of human presence.


Rebecca Rose

The Curiosity of the Prince

However, in 15 years of work nobody has complained, though there have been some who have been recognized in the photos. Probably detachment, non-involvement, and objectivity, which are the foundation of my work, have kept me from troubles.


Michele Chiossi

Portraying the Ephemeral

But a logical sequence is continually escaping, always referring back to that disorder, which we are undeniably fascinated by and which offers us the ephemeral opportunity to cut out a temporal space in our lives that is free from financial and social conditioning. Vitali’s photos tell of this desire, white and undefined just as in our dreams.


Valentina Muscedra

Changing Status

“When I first started taking pictures, beaches had no connotations. They were places where people could not think about anything, and be totally at ease.” Today, the same beaches are still holiday destinations, he says, but they are also the troubling backdrops of the European migrant crisis. For Vitali, an artist who has spent the last two decades documenting holidaymakers along the coastlines of the continent, as well as further afield, the beach has become a looking glass into the heart of the lives of Europeans. Of the current political climate, Vitali notes: “There is a vague sense of doom.”


Caolan Blaney

History of Photography

Massimo Vitali: Everyday about 350 million photographs are uploaded on Facebook. Isn’t that a crazy number? Just think of the number of pictures taken every day, incredibly much higher. But: this doesn’t mean that people know more about photography than they did 20 years ago.


Lisa Ortner-Kreil

New Topographics

These landscapes rebalance Vitali’s anthropological studies of human quirks, surfacing unspoken questions about our self-centered modifications of the land. Like the invasive species that we are, not only have we overrun the beaches and clogged up the pristine blue waters, we’ve taken to pouring concrete to make that invasion even easier.


Loring Knoblauch

Seas the Day

Life’s a beach—but then, unfortunately, you die. There is something ominous in Massimo Vitali’s panned-out, colour drenched photographs of people soaking up the sun: these are not pretty Instagram posts (although you can imagine them being popular there), but reminders of our puny presence against nature’s indomitable grandeur. In the Italian post war photographer’s latest series of work something threatens the breathtaking scenery: us.


Charlotte Jansen

Suspended Spaces

Massimo's view is "panoramic", but it remains immobile. It suggests trips within spaces that look empty, but actually "were emptied". (The space only comes to life one Sunday evening, along a tree-lined riverbank. The Germans take snapshots of each other, leaving their history in the background).


Cesare Colombo