You may never have heard of Marco de Bari. But you should. And you will

I have started to write this text way before the news was officially confirmed. But there are moments in which being a reporter makes you know what you’ll have to report. Way before you have to do it. In this case, not only for a professional need or technical difficulties (MotorChase is bilingual), but also out of care. Today I need to tell you guys about Marco de Bari. If you are Brazilian and a car nuts, you have the obligation to know who he is. If you are not one thing nor the other (or both), we assure you this is a story worth knowing. He was one of the biggest car photographers Brazil has ever produced. One that was not only fond of photography, but also of the objects that he portrayed.

He knew which was their best angle, which was the best light to make them even more stunning. And the precise moment in which he should push the button and register the moment. As he must have done last Tuesday, July 5, while photographing a Mitsubishi Eclipse AWD 1990. At 10:34 am, a crane from the studio where he was shooting fell over his head. His assistant, Daniel Guedes Fernandes Dionizio, was also hit in the head and in the leg. The leg had to be amputated, but Dionizio will live. Bari died this morning.

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Senna

Marco, as I sometimes had the privilege to call him, was born in February 2, 1963. I have been raised looking at the car pictures he shot for Quatro Rodas, the biggest car magazine in Brazil. He started working there in 1989, but he only appeared as an official member of the team in the masthead of the September 1994 issue, already as a photography editor. It did not stop him from doing some of the most memorable cover pictures of the magazine’s history. And to photograph some iconic people, like Ayrton Senna. Check them together in the picture below. Bari is the one at the right after Senna.

Marco-de-Bari-Ayrton-Senna

Bari was the guy that organized the photo shootings of the disassembly of Long Term Test cars for Quatro Rodas. As the Volkswagen up! below.

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Versatility

He was also a versatile photographer. He shot one of the last Brazilian Playboy cover pictures at Abril, the publisher of Quatro Rodas. The magazine is now published by PBB Entertainment.

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Bari achieved every man’s dream (and it is not taking pictures of naked ladies and cars a living, but doing what you love to pay the bills). He was a photographer 24-7, always paying attention to something no one had realized. And registering them in an artistic way.

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This is São Paulo, his city. An ugly place if you do not know where and how to look. Bari had that gift.

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Stories. Lots of them

In one of his many car picture sessions, a snake decided to cross the road. And there he was to preserve the moment forever. His travels earned him lots of funny stories. Which he would tell us laughing a lot. Such as when he was arrested in Germany because he was in a trunk to photograph another car. Or when Ayrton Senna cleaned the wheels of the car he would photograph beside the great pilot. Or many others which only the ones that were with him will be able to tell from now on. Such as Juliano Barata, editor of FlatOut!, also a great photographer and his apprentice. If Bari was Master Miyagi, Barata is “Daniel San”. And Bari would tell his stories just like this.

Marco-de-Bari-Juliano-Barata

I have had my share when I worked with him at Quatro Rodas. Especially when he needed help to photograph moving cars. He would scream and yell and swear to make us drive at the right pace, in the direction he wanted. And he would get mad and snort if things went wrong, as a good Italian descendent that he was. The light had to be right. The speed. Everything. And the result is in his work. Fortunately, people had the idea of interviewing him and registering his work in video. Unfortunately, it is only in Portuguese.

RIP, Bari

This is why we have started this farewell text beforehand. Bari did not deserve any sort of text, written all of a sudden. Nor anything too distant from his departure. It needed to be something that could express how much sorrow his death represents to people who did not get to know him personally. Written with the hope that it was never necessary to be published, but with an urgency sense that the news about his health strongly demanded. We wish we could have published the glorious car images he has taken over the years, but most of them are Abril’s property. You can see some of them in this Google search. We wish we did not have to write this nor to put it online. Bari was a huge Palmeiras soccer team supporter, the loving father of Nicole and a great husband for Juliana. He was a nice guy and a very respected professional. He was a friend. And he will be incredibly missed. Thank you, Bari. It was a privilege to work with you.

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Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.

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