You’re probably already pretty familiar with our taste by now, Pitusa fam, and if you know us at ALL you know that we love a beach scene. Whether we’re on the sand ourselves, gazing longingly at Insta-worthy holiday snaps, planning our next escape or mincing around an art gallery, we can’t get enough of the beach. So when we stumbled upon Massimo Vitali’s photographs earlier this summer, we just haven’t been able get him out of our head. We love the feeling his scenes evoke in us: a sense of being right there with him, a part of the crowd, but also once removed–he gives us the voyeuristic privilege of being part of a specific cultural experience; that of how people not only get together at the beach but in different public spaces. He is a photographer whose aim it is to record and report on contemporary life as we know it.
Vitali is from Como, Italy and he began photographing beach scenes in his home country in 1995, in part as a social commentary after Berlusconi was elected in ’94 and in part as research project on his fellow countrymen–he was curious to see whether drastic changes in Italian politics would show on the faces of the people. He searched, with his camera, to see whether it was fear or jubilance that registered on the faces of people in an otherwise bucolic and peaceful setting. From his first series of this nature “Beach Scenes” he has made it his life’s work to travel the globe doing just that: taking photos of how and where people congregate in various settings.
Part of why it’s so attractive and compelling to observe this kind of art, as with all art, is that it links us all in commonality. As human beings, we often think that there is so much that sets us apart–our reflex is often to focus on how we are from different cultures, speaking different languages, experiencing a different way of life. Yet, time and time again, art manages to show us that in actuality we have a lot more in common than meets the eye, and a lazy day at the beach (no matter where you come from) is one of the true joys and an often welcome respite from the banality (or strife, as the case may be) of daily life.
Massimo Vitali is the real deal , and the real deal comes with a real price tag. But if you happen to have come into a small fortune recently, you can find his available works for sale here, here and here, depending on where you are in the world. We only ask one thing, if you do decide to buy: invite us over for dinner so we can sit next to one of his visual masterpieces and pretend we’re blending into the crowd.