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Massimo Vitali Biography

Massimo Vitali was born in Como in 1944. He lives and works in Lucca, Italy and in Berlin, Germany. After finishing high school he moved to London where he studied photography at the London College of Printing. At the beginning of the 1960s he started working as a photojournalist and collaborated with various magazines and agencies in Italy and Europe. In this period, he met Simon Guttmann, the founder of the Report Agency and a decisive figure for his transformation into a ‘committed photographer’. In the early 1980s, he acknowledged that photography cannot reproduce the complexities of reality and this was a turning point in his career.

Massimo Vitali started working as a cameraman for television and cinema. However, his relationship with the camera never ended and in the end he returned to photography. Vitali’s art represents a ‘sterilised and self-satisfied vision of Italian normality’ and at the same time reveals some ‘internal turbulences of this normality: the deception of plastic surgery, sexual allusions, the commodification of pleasure, the disappointment of opulence and a rigid conformity’. In the last decade, he has developed a new approach to portraying reality, amplifying the apotheosis of the mass through the most intriguing and tangible form of contemporary art photography.

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