Beach & Disco: Massimo Vitali

Ahhh beaches and discos, my two favourite things. I love love love Massimo Vitali‘s cult photo book, Beach & Disco, perfect for perusing at this time of year while envying the likes of Marc Jacobs frolicking on the sands of St Bart’s and other beachy New Year destinations. Here’s Marc wearing his Orlebar Brown swimming shorts which depict their very own Massimo Visali-esque scene (thanks What’s-He-Wearing-nee-00o00 for the heads up)…


(I, on the other hand, spent New Year’s Day at a techno rave in East London –  that kind of counts as a disco, no? Plus it was full of Italians…)

Beach and Disco came out in 2000, a sociological study of groups of people in post-’94-election Italy. Vitali’s technique was to erect a 15-foot high platform from which to document his  Berlusconi-voting subjects from a distant (and therefore discreet) vantage point, resulting in a “sanitized, complacent view of Italian normalities”, including “cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo and deluded sense of affluence”. Yikes.


Clearly this was all before the internet became the all-seeing Googlable eye as we know it now. But both serve a similar purpose in watching and documenting the masses who remain mostly oblivious to (and uninterested in) their voyeurs. Ahem, excuse me while I retire to the Daily Mail website to further ogle celebs on the beach…