Press

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

Millimeter after Millimeter

While many reduce photography to a formal symbol of itself in order to find a rhetoric close to that painting, Vitali produces images that adhere "millimeter after millimeter" to their photographic nature.


Daniel Soutif

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Vitali himself speaks of a “reality that exists but is never seen as such.” This “magic dimension”, as he calls it, is the space of art.


Miriam Rosen

Out of a Work State-of-Mind

I look at everything, I follow things, I have these strange fantasies about what people do, what people think, how they move.  This way of watching the people makes my days very enjoyable and fruitful.  If I wasn’t doing this I could be a really bored old man who’s not doing anything.


Richard Kern

A Beach Without People — It’s Just Boring.

Vitali credits a Joel Meyerowitz image of a Cape Cod beach scene as the inspiration for his own interpretation and perspective on beach photography. “I remember exactly this picture on the beach,” he explains, “and everybody was looking at the sea, and he was taking pictures on [from] the back. So I remember the first time I went to take these pictures of the beach. I wanted to be in front, I wanted to be in the sea—looking at the people.”


Lisa Cancelli

Nothing Happens after 4:30 PM

The energy begins to build as early as 9:00 AM, the clothes drop and people drop their worries as well, although some tension remains some barrier. A narrative begins to unfold. THere is a lull from noon until about 1:30 then everything begins again and builds until 4:30 when the energy completely evaporates. Nothing happens after 4:30.


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