Massimo Vitali

A virtual conversation between Gabriele Basilico, Vincenzo Castella, and Massimo Vitali, coordinated by Angela Madesani.

A.M. Are there other aspects of yourwork?
M.V. In fact, being an ethnologist I study human society. I am interested in observation and voyeurism. I am fascinated by the functioning of life, by social dynamics, by spaces and interactions: all the minimal things that don’t interest anybody. In this sense, photography becomes secondary because I think about and create plots: this is my work. For me photography is a way of standing and looking at people.

A.M. Talking about which: what are “Natural Habitats”?
M.V. On beaches certain interactions are more exposed, easier to see, to grasp.

A.M. Is the fact that you have shot photographs because in those places and in those moments some particular happens?
M.V. On beaches certain interactions are more exposed, easier to see, to grasp.

A.M. They create small stories.
M.V. Yes, but they mustn’t become too important. At times I also need extras, walk-on parts. […] I begin with a stage set. I search carefully for theatres that work and I adopt them. I never arrive at what I photograph by chance but through hints and study. I move for various days around the places that interest me so that the theatres I am looking form themselves in front of the lens. I establish the place first and also the position of the camera. These elements are unchangeable; they are the basis of the work. The rest I decide on later. I want the photos to be normal. There is never a particular angle for the shot.
See biography

Available works



Available works

  • Krka waterfall pink #3946, 2010

    C-print diasec on dibond
    180 x 220 cm

  • Malbacco, 2014

    Lightjet print from original digital file (stitched) on photographic paper, Diasec mount with wooden frame
    180 x 269 cm

  • Las Catedrals Waves, 2011

    Analogue print from enlarger, Diasec mounting with wooden frame
    180 x 300 cm


  • Installation view, 2016

    Studio la Città, Arte Fiera, Bologna

  • Installation view, 2014

    Studio la Città, Verona

  • An Italian Perspective, 2012

    installation view
    Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

  • Una prospettiva italiana, 2011

    installation view
    Studio La Città, Verona



  • The photographs by Massimo Vitali will be on display at the MEF – Ettore Fico Museum, starting on Friday 25 September 2020. The exhibition will include more than 30 works, chosen from the production of his last twenty-five years.
    Massimo Vitali. Costellazioni umane, curated by Andrea Busto | MEF Museo Ettore Fico – via Francesco Cigna 114 – Turin | in collaboration with Mazzoleni, London – Torino | 25 September – 20 December 2020