Born in Naples, in 1987 she moved to Rome where she has been living since. She first approached photography in the late 1960s focusing on religious representations and folkloric celebrations in central-southern Italy. In the years 1976-1977 she published Al ristorante il 29 settembre 1974 and Giornale Spray in i Quaderni dello sguardo, a series she created herself. In 1979, Marialba Russo was represented Italy in the Contemporary European Photography section of Venezia 79 la fotografia, with the photographic sequence Il parto. In 1989 the Gallery of Modern Art Giorgio Morandi in Bologna hosted a retrospective devoted to the photographer and published the monograph Marialba Russo - Fotografie 1980-1987, featuring a letter by Alberto Moravia. In 1993, Mudima (Milan) published Roma, Fasti Moderni - il disordine del tempo. Epifanie is a collection of travel photographs published in 1997, followed by the intimate visual narrative Famosa and Il ritratto di me. Over the last decade, the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki and the Jin Tai Art Museum in Beijing have hosted the premières of l’Incanto, volume published by Skira (Milan) in 2004. In 2010 the Camera Obscura (Thessaloniki) published the plaquette Worlds of Glamour and Banality edited by Aris Georgiou. Confine, 2015, is the second volume of the trilogy begun with l’Incanto and explores the research that each subject – be it human, animal, real or symbolic – carries out within and beyond itself. The third and last volume of the series is forthcoming. With Travestimento, published by Postcart in 2016, and Cult Fiction, published in 2018 by Quinlan, il Giorno il Gioco il Sogno, published by Postcart, the series i Quaderni dello sguardo is published again. In 2021 she exhibits at the Centro Pecci in Prato and publishes the book Public Sex, Nero editions.