Carlo Mari was born in Legnano in 1959, but has called Milan home for many years. He has travelled the world both above and below the water line, but never without a camera around his neck, ready to tell stories through it. In his everyday life, he is a commercial and fashion photographer, forever in search of beauty in all its forms. In the 1980s and ’90s, his photographs appeared on the covers of the leading Italian and international maritime magazines, in which his shots were widely featured. As a portrait photographer, for years he has been documenting the beauty – not just exterior – of many East African peoples at risk of extinction.
At the invitation of the Harvill Press of London, two major books have been published:The Great Migration, awarded as the “Best Photography Book 2000” in Padua and winner of the Prix Nadar in Paris in the same category; andPink Africa,which describes the life of the greater flamingos of the Rift Valley. Carlo Mari has published a number of photography books around the world, some focusing on the life of the sea bed, others on Africa, especially Kenya and Tanzania, others still showcasing artistic nudes and glamour shots for use in advertising, including Animal Man published in 2000 by Edition de La Martinière, Paris.
In 2002, in partnership with writer Kuki Gallmann, he created the book Safari, which was published by Frederking & Thaler. One of his most important works, My Africa, was again published by F&T and became one of the best-selling photography books in Germany in 2004. With Leonardo International, in 2009 he produced a book on Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Abbey of Montecassino.
The following year, he authored the BERETTA Armi calendar. Over recent years, he has felt the call of the sea so strongly that he has gone in search of ancient sensations. With Skira editore he published, in 2019, the book Passage through DAR: a collection of portraits shot at the fish market at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In partnership with CMStudio, in 2020, he produced the fine art book Secret Love, an extraordinary love story between Mari and “his” sea. A painstaking, pro-active photographer, always on the lookout for new experiences, today he has instinctively cast his eye upon Milan, the city to which he feels closest.
In the epoch- making period of the Covid-19 pandemic, in close collaboration with the Carabinieri, he was given the opportunity to walk around and photograph the city during lockdown and succeeded in capturing its beauty, keeping it company in the process. So has been created “Io Milano”, published by Skira editore.
Enthusiasts and collectors know him for his exquisite, limited- edition Fine Art prints, which are found in numerous collections around the world. His works were published on the most important international magazines such as Zoom, Mondo Sommerso, Il Subacqueo, Sub, Le Monde de la Mer, Thauchen, Arte Navale, Geo Germania, Traveller, BBC magazine, Progresso Fotografico, Tutti i Fotografi, PCphoto, Photo, Gente Viaggi, Gulliver, Class, DU natura, OneLife, Il Venerdì and many others. His photographies have been shown in personal and collective exhibitions at international level such as at the Mondial Festival of the submarine image of Antibes, in France; at the Frankfurt Book Fair; at the African House Forum gallery in Munich; at the Ruetz gallery in Munich and Ausburg, Germany; at the Matthias Kuper gallery, in Schwabisch in Germany; at the Italian Cultural Institute in Nairobi in Kenya; in London, in the Mews Gallery; in New York, for "Artist for Africa"; in Milan at Triennale, at Fabbrica del Vapore, at Photo Week and at MIA Photo Fair 2013, 2014, 2019, at FOTOFEVER night 2019 in Arles, at FOTOFEVER 2019 in Paris, in Rome and in many other Italian cities.