Printed in soft colors, Vitali’s photos recall the choral nature of some Flemish paintings. In reality, its cultural reference is another one, within the history of photography. “When I realized that after thirty years of photography I still didn’t know who was in front of my lens, I started to follow carefully the work of contemporary photography masters, but then I turned back to the classics of the last century, to the work of pioneers like Atget and Le Gray. Why are their works still so contemporary? They took hours to shot a photo, entire days. The technological instruments were bulky and imperfect, and the photographers had to compensate with care, patience and precision.”

“I tried to recreate that difficulty, and shooting a photo has become a real undertaking for me too. My ambition is to do lasting works, works that can serve as document of who we really are today even 50 years from now.”

To young photographers that want advice for how to have a successful career, Vitali answers: “Don’t worry, work. I was a photo reporter for thirty years, I worked in cinema and advertising without having much success. Then, suddenly, something happened. And when I was 50, it seemed to me that all the experiences I had accumulated came together in those big tableaux of ordinary life”.

Dino Messina, "Gli italiani, tipi da spiaggia visti dal mare" in Corriere della Sera, August 20, 2000.