Massimo Vitali is an Italian photographer best known for his large-scale colour images of beaches and mass leisure events. Shot from a distance, his panoramic views show people interacting with their environments and one another, lending a sense of voyeurism to the work. Early in his career, Vitali developed mistrust in the capacity of documentary photography to reproduce the complexities of reality, which drew him away from photojournalism and instead towards a more conceptual practice.
In his ongoing “Beach Series” he photographs people on Italian beaches—shooting from podiums as high as five meters—as a commentary on sinister elements, like “cosmetic fakery” “commodified leisure” and “rigid conformism,” behind scenes of supposed normality.
In these and more scenes of pools, ski resorts, discotheques, piazzas, and other tourist and leisure sites around the world can be found in Vitali’s photo-books Landscapes with Figures and Natural Habitats. “My photography comes from absolute matter-of-fact situations but also from a deep curiosity that I possess for people, for what they do and how they think,” the artist reflected.