Photographer, art director, publisher… fisherman… mountain bike soul rider… less conventional music lover (occasionally I play some records under the sombrero of my alter ego: the widely unknown Evil Mariachi) ...

Currently, besides these my most personal projects, I’m CEO and art director at the agency 1000olhos - Imagem e Comunicação (which I founded with my wife, in Aljezur) –

With time I came to discover that my real professional passion is making books. Mine and those resulting from the work of the clients of 1000olhos. I love creating concepts, putting teams together (with specialists in each one of the specific areas of each project), monitoring and supervising the graphic design … I take special pleasure in choosing the roles of the printing techniques, the finishing materials... Monitoring the graphic design adapting to another context what Robert Duvall stated in Apocalypse Now: “I love the smell of ink in the morning!”. And then … being able to hold the physical object! Feel its weight and stroke the paper, hear the rustle of the pages and look at it from all angles to check for embossments and finishing textures, inhale the mixture of smells … and finally to be able to say it is always worth doing (without having to quote Pessoa) when we are talking about a book. That is why, in my opinion, a book, as a physical object, will always be eternal.

Since late last century I have been developing a series of projects in the South of Portugal (practically all now in book form), especially in the area covering the Costa Vicentina. My first book was Warriors of the Sea (1998). This was followed by Uncommon Places (2000), In-depth Work (2001), Alembics & Alchemists (2007)… along the same line of work in 2010 the book “Seafood Catchers | Ria de Alvor: stories of a place” was published and in 2014 the series “The Unknown Known”, was presented for the first time. This is a very special approach to the coast in the council of Lagoa.

At the end of 2016 Costa do Mar was published, a large album which is a kind of synthesis of my initial projects in the remote southwest.

In 2018 I presented the project “Three hundred and sixty-six”, a long work which basically addresses “(...) the infinite differences and the onset of changes in the landscape caused by natural elements. (...)”.

ENTRE AS ÁGUAS (Between the Waters) was published in 2021 and it is an artistic project that has the research, the recognition of the landscape, the probing of details and the feeling of the subjectivity and uniqueness of the place as its main focus.

My most recent book is called THE UNKNOWN KNOWN and is the book materialization of the project developed in 2014. This is an exhibition book. It can be used as a book or the photographs can be detached from the book, one by one, and used as an exhibition.

Besides the projects I referred to above, I have been developing several other studies and works which have been exhibited and published in Portugal and abroad. I occasionally present my work in conferences and master classes.


Meridional Magazine
«(…) What João Mariano claims for each of the beautiful photographs that make up this book (which is itself a wonderful piece of design) is that same layer, the depth of his own life, his experience, his memory, of their affections. (…)»

Afonso Cruz, Meridional Magazine, December 2021
About the book “Entre as Águas”
Inter Magazine
«(…) Those who know him understand his calm audacity. He connects, relates, makes bridges between several cultural activities; he is a man of landscapes and silences, but is also a man of great cultural and urban thirst, relentless in projects and ideas. But it is his testimony of incomparable beauty of the southwest coast of Portugal that has, for years now, captured our gaze. (…)»

– Sónia Alcaso, Inter Magazine, 2020
« (… ) a true visual poet of the Costa Vicentina. (...) (…) today and for many years it will not be possible to tell the story of this coast and these people without João Mariano’s images. »

– Eduardo Dâmaso, Director of the magazine “Sábado”, 1 August 2019
«(...) His projects are always “in-depth works” — and not only the underwater catch of algae in the southwest coast —, experienced and felt with great depth. (...) the eyes of grottoes and sea caverns, stones as motionless as mortuary statues, earth art roughed down by the water and air that the artists surprises in an admirable telluric tension. (...) in my opinion, the two main images of this project are frontal and lean (...) The first glances at us from the centre of the curved sedimentary strata (...) The second is more extraordinary: concentric ovals dug into the rock by the elements; a 3-D negative of the matter. Here is the partner that was missing in the work of Castello-Lopes. (...)»

– Jorge Calado, Expresso, weekly newspaper, 14 June 2016
About the project “The Unknown known”
Revista SUL
«It is not easy to understand emotions when they burst with such violence and at the same time this peace that we thought was no longer part of the universe. But we do not need to understand it: all we need is to be permanently ready to be fascinated and enchanted. João Mariano’s photographs are more than a portrait of an art and a culture: Privileges may be shared in this way – without words and without sounds.»

– Magazine SUL, Winter 2000 - 2001
About the project “Alembics & Alchemists”
«(...) in In-depth Work, João Mariano documents the activity of the seaweed catchers on the Portuguese coast in a series of very high-quality images. (...) By manipulating the notion of time, he extends it in images which have a great visual impact, where shapes are diluted or crystallised in the magmatic grey of the sea... (...)»

– Ana Ruivo, Expresso, weekly newspaper, 8 December 2001
About the project In-depth Work”
«(…) “Life at sea is very dramatic”, João Mariano says, and his photographs are the perfect setting for this tragedy. (…)»

– Kathleen Gomes, Público newspaper, 4 February 2000
About the project “Uncommon Places”
Jornal de Notícias
«I have lost count of the number of books I have read. But I can guarantee that after thousands, I have recently discovered one that I could consider one of the books of my life. (...) the photographer João Mariano descended, alongside the barnacle catchers, into hell (...) and made one of the most extraordinary documentaries I could ever have imagined. (...)»

– Hélder Pacheco, Jornal de Notícias, 1 October 1998
About the project "Warriors of the Sea"