Bodies in Water

Vitali conducts his human beachcombing from atop a custom-made perch, which hoists him twenty to thirty feet in the air, overlooking the bodies that are happily oblivious of his scrutiny. The panoramas that result are social studies, at once skeptical and celebratory. Bodies afloat, bodies baking, bodies submerged, bodies apart, and bodies together - his European bathers seem interchangeable at first glance, but under scrutiny grow as particular as the landscapes that surround them.

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The Paris Review

The Photographer’s Finger

Vitali’s images, where he combines the detached tone of Walker Evans’ Straight Photography and the suggestiveness of the big screen, distinguish themselves for their frontal view and for the transversal depth of the shot that, like cinematographic film in Jeff Wall’s light box, suggests a possible extension of the visual flow beyond the limits of the photograph’s white border.

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Desdemona Ventroni

Beyond the Sea

I shoot very few pictures. If I have problems I shoot more, but if I’m sure that I have a good picture I shoot maybe only two of a particular subject. In the last 19 years I’ve shot 4,700 negatives or digital photos.

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Jason Edward Kaufman

Massimo Vitali Captures the Architecture of Leisure

For Vitali, architectural structures play the role of backdrop or scenery, secondary to the interaction of the anonymous characters and crowds within the photographs,’ explains gallery director Roxanna Farboud. ‘Rather than the focus being on the location or the beauty of the images, his works are a comment on us and our society; capturing unguarded social interaction.’

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Hettie Judah

Puppeteer from the Past

It is almost thirty years since Vitali abandoned conventional reportage. His back catalogue remains locked away and he hides the key. However occasional glimpses are beginning to emerge of a remarkable early chapter in his career that maps a cataclysmic period in Italy’s modern history. What makes the work so poignant is the contrast with his later work in which he takes back control of the photographic concept to emerge less as the journalistic puppet and more as the consummate puppeteer.

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Roger Hargreaves

A Conversation with Massimo Vitali

When you look at a classical painting, you see that the canvas is filled with various levels from ordinary people and soldiers to kings, angels and then, finally, God, with a few little pieces of landscape here and there. My idea, having grown up with this imprint, was to develop photos with very little empty spaces.

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Joerg Colberg

Massimo Vitali’s Huge, Blown-Out Beach Scenes

Are there consistent social types to be found in the herds of skiiers, blissed-out ravers, or oblivious beach-goers Vitali photographs? What do they look like? How do we experience these different beaches? Is there any difference between our own beach experiences, or are we essentially doing the same thing, again and again and again?

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Sam Cate-Gumpert

Life is a Beach

Because photography is the only art form that is made by machines, not by the human hand, you have to know your machine well – otherwise you just accept what Mr Eastman thinks your colour should be, explains Vitali, who works with both digital and analogue cameras.

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Elizabeth Fullerton

Giacometti on the Beach

Massimo Vitali’s most recent images are concerned with refugees. – People who find themselves on mediterranean beaches for reasons very different from the ones that lead the holiday makers from northern European cities there.

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Tobia Bezzola

Beach & Disco II

The more we interrogate the image as our eye is drawn closer by the hallucinatory wealth of detail, the more the semiotic activity of metaphor and metonymy undermines the obviousness of documentary, leaving a productive ambivalence.

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Jon Bird