Massimo Vitali was born in Como, Italy, in 1944, and is currently based in Lucca, Italy, and Berlin. Vitali studied photography at the London College of Printing. He worked as a photojournalist in the 1970s, but at the beginning of the 80s a growing mistrust in the belief that photography had an absolute capacity to reproduce the subtleties of reality led to a change in his career path. He began working as a movie camera operator, before beginning a fine-art practice in 1995.
His series of Italian beach panoramas began in the light of drastic political changes in Italy. Vitali started to observe his fellow countrymen very carefully. He depicted a “sanitized, complacent view of Italian normalities,” at the same time revealing “the inner conditions and disturbances of normality: its cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo, commodified leisure, deluded sense of affluence, and rigid conformism.”
Vitali’s work has been collected in four books: Beach and Disco, Natural Habitats, Landscapes With Figures, and Landscapes With Figures 2. His photographs have been published in magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals around the world. Additionally, his work is represented in the world’s major museums, including the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Fond National Art Contemporaine in Paris, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Fondation Cartier in Paris, and the Museo Luigi Pecci in Prato.