c-print. diasec on alu, ed.6, 220x180 cm
The large-format works by the Italian photographer Massimo Vitali address the social scene in locations relating to leisure - and to consumer culture. The observer is confronted with overfilled beaches, thickly populated discos, shopping centres, leisure parks and supermarkets, expressed in a simple and direct idiom. The artist was born in Como in 1944 and trained as a photographer at the London College of Printing. He first worked for some years as a journalist until in the early eighties he began to doubt photography's ability adequately to reproduce the finest nuances of reality and, as a cameraman, turned to the moving pictures of film and television. Nevertheless, he returned to photography in the early 1990s; this time, however, he saw in it a "medium of artistic research" and not the strict reproduction of reality - the fundamental maxim of photographic journalism. His analogue photographs, verging on voyeurism, reflect reality without any enhancement by touching up or editing the pictures. The only methods he uses are compositional, hence he attains an almost surreal effect: for instance, he places the horizon in the top third of the picture, thus achieving a seemingly infinite sense of depth. And herein lies one of the main fascinations of his works - we know the people before us are not computer-generated or manipulated views of human togetherness, but a reflection of reality.