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, Pt. 2

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

Beach & Disco, Pt. 1

The liminal connects with the carnivalesque in the suspension or inversion of normative behavior and social relations.

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Jon Bird

Beached: Massimo Vitali’s Imposing Sandscapes

When somebody asks me where a picture was taken, for me it’s just a disaster. It’s defeat. Because the pictures are not about the place.

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David Paw

Massimo Vitali: Life’s a Beach

The difference between my picture and somebody else’s pictures is in their making. It is documentary photography, but it is also art and my real artistic contribution is the performative act of making the picture.

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George Upton