Massimo Vitali shuns at having photos of taken of himself. Much like Henri Michaux did. He also has strong similarities in an artistic rather than vainglorious way with Georges Seurat. An American friend of his describes him as an aquatic Seurat and cites Weegee’s photo of 1000s of people on the beach at Coney Island. Unlike Weegee or Bruce Weber, Vitali is not after a personal showdown or revelation, his schema is a wide open buffet, like Manet’s bar in les Folies-Bergère… Yet Vitali’s “overview” mirrors “our” presence, individuality and often vulnerability given the toxic backdrops and encroachments of “our globalized” world. Imagine an oft contaminated Grande Jatte.
So, what draws us to his work which is really like no other: the sweeping panoramas he chronicles perched en haut like a stork, the kind of sublime anonymity and “everyman’ness” of what he captures or our own nostalgia at these temporal but restful “jours de fête”?