Massimo Vitali was born in Como, Italy, in 1944.
He studied photography at the London College of Printing, in the 1970s initially working as a photojournalist, 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 worked in cinematography for film and television before beginning a fine art practice in 1995. Over the next two decades, Vitali’s large scale works would become recognizable for his highly detailed, epic scale panoramas, sociopolitical observations of the natural habitat of humankind at leisure.
His iconic series of beach panoramas, captured from a distance with an elevated large format camera platform, began in the light of drastic political changes in Italy. Drawing inspiration from Renaissance and Old Flemish masters, in which the central space is fully exploited and the urban or natural landscape becomes the background, Vitali’s photographs grasp the viewer by capturing highly detailed observances of the recreational habitats of modern civilization.
Vitali’s work has been collected in six monographs: Beach and Disco, Natural Habitats, Landscapes With Figures, Swimming Pools, Short Stories and the just-released Entering A New 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.
Massimo Vitali lives and works in Lucca (Italy) and in Berlin (Germany).