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Massimo Vitali (Italian, b.1944)

Photography

Birth Place: Como, Italy

Biography:

Who is photographer Massimo Vitali?

Massimo VItali is an Italian photographer and filmmaker who is best known for his high art paintings of leisure activities like beach scenes and ski resorts. He is also known for his work as a photojournalist for the Report Agency during the 1970s. Massimo is extremely popular in Europe, his work featuring “Italians at play” has resonated with a large and diverse fanbase. There is a bonhomie spirit to Vitali’s work that often goes overlooked in other more “serious” photographers and artists.

This free-wheeling and fun spirit has given Vitali great success. He’s toured and exhibited at many of the most famous galleries in Europe. His pieces are included in the collections at the Reina Sofia of Madrid, the Guggenheim Museum, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, and the Centre Pompidou of Paris.

What kind of art does Massimo Vitali make?

Massimo Vitali is an Italian photographer and filmmaker. Since 1995, he has focused on high art photography. Vitali’s work is instantly recognizable thanks to its size. These pieces are bombastically detailed, with Vitali standing on a huge podium and using extremely large-format cameras to depict details at high resolutions. Vitali’s subjects are typically his fellow Italians, often engaged in recreational activities like a day at the beach, or reclining in a public space. While initially a way to critique the seemingly vapid culture of his native Italy, Vitali has since grown to love these images. In an interview, Vitali said that these images should feel “generous rather than judgmental.”

How did photographer Massimo Vitali get started?

Massimo Vitali was born in Como, Italy in 1944. Not much is known of his early life until he attended the London College of Printing to study photojournalism. He got work soon after, most notably working as a photojournalist for the Report Agency during the 1970s. Later, he would also find work as a camera operator on several motion pictures. It would be in 1995, on a whim, when Vitali would turn to the high art world. Inspired by a botched national election, the photographer decided to travel to the beach to photograph his countrymen at play. This would prove to resonate with the artist and a large audience -- those leisure pictures serve as the basis for Vitali’s artistic drive even to this day.

How much are Massimo Vitali photographs worth?

Massimo Vitali’s photographs are extremely valuable, selling for around $1,500 on the low end and up to $50,000 on the high end. The most ever paid for a Massimo Vitali photograph at auction is $50,000 for the piece Coney Island Grande (2006) which sold on November 11th, 2014. At Heritage Auction, we sold a Vitali photograph, Calafuria #1774 (2002) for $17,925 on May 2nd, 2011. We are proud to have an extensive history of Vitali photographs at auction, and encourage prospective collectors to look at those pieces.

Where to buy Massimo Vitali photographs for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Massimo Vitali photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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