Door 11: Massimo Vitali

Photography © Paul Barbera

Inspirations for artists can be found literally anywhere, very often at the most obvious places. For the Italian photographer Massimo Vitali such a place of inspiration is now for nearly 30 years the beach and its visitors.

Marina Di Pietrasanta, 1994, © Massimo Vitali

Vitali was born in Como in 1944. He studied photography at the London College of Printing. At the beginning of the 1960s he worked as a photojournalist for magazines and agencies all over Europe. In the 1980s he worked as a cinematographer for television and cinema, which helped deepening his technical knowledge of cameras.

In the early 1990s, he returned to photography as an artist, focusing on stills via large-format photography. He began taking his famous Beach Series in 1995, for which is most known for. He set up large scaffolding and photographed towards the beach, where people would be. He says, that watching people helps him understand people in general, but also society and how it changes over the years.

Sacred Russian Pool, Turkey, 2009, © Massimo Vitali and Ronchini Gallery

In recent years he shifted from a large-format film camera to a medium-format digital one, but his focus is still on human behavior, mostly in public spaces. He describes himself as an observer of human behavior.