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.”

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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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1814

Reshaping the World

Vitali’s scenes are at far less of a remove, hierarchically or psychically, from the demos. As viewers, we are amongst their number, sharing space, in spite of our elevated vantage, as if we have just come upon the scene. I find myself looking for bodies resembling my own or those of lovers or friends, and this inclusiveness of the viewer as a part of the crowd gives the work a surprisingly egalitarian ethos.

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Lucas Blalock

So What is a Photographer?

Many anthropological or political reasons can justify the choice of the crowded beaches, vacations in the mountains, touristy streets or discotheques, places that have been his favourites up until now. But the most important reason is the simple fact that these are places that eveyone takes photographs: a type of photography intended as un art moyen according to the title of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's book.

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Daniel Soutif

Firenze Via Via

From comedy to tragedy, from tragedy to indifference. The individual quest is always ignored and people look away just as Gods and folks did when Icarus fell the way Brueghel painted his fatal flight.

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Anna Morettini

Jours de Fête

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 anonomity and "everyman'ness" of what he captures or our own nostalgia at these temporal but restful "jours de fête"? 

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John Armbruster

Piscinão de Ramos

No explanations, comments, or records. I have been on the lookout for a few days now. They don't pay any attention to me anymore, and are no longer afraid of me. They just run around playfully.

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Maurice Soustiel

Rio de Janeiro through the Eyes of Massimo Vitali

Looking over his photos afterward, Massimo told me: “I like it. They look bored.” Because Rio’s in-between moments are where the Cariocas retreat from the extremes and into their own imaginations.

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Taylor Barnes

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