Dylan Vitone practices cultural anthropology with a camera, astutely observing human behavior in a range of environments. Selections from two recent series at dnj focus on tourists at Yellowstone and punk pilgrims at a skater mecca in Ohio.
To Vitone, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon, the spectacle of life plays out with equal beauty, drama and interest no matter the setting. His pictures grant us access to situations we might never experience directly, but also show us the familiar with an acuity that renders it newly strange.
Vitone works in a panoramic format, stitching color images together to create sweeping, broadly encompassing views. Seams are sometimes visible but not disruptive, and the prints, 17 inches high and often more than 90 inches wide, read as continuous filmic pans, dense with texture and information.
In one of the pictures from Skatopia, a young man sits atop an overturned car, smoking leisurely, while another fuels flames underneath it and pierced, tattooed onlookers record the scene on their phones.