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MARY TERESA GIANCOLI--Photographs for Sale.  GIANCOLI Photographic Essay-- Zocalo Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico.

Artists' Studio Visits at Biddington's Art Gallery

Giancoli photo  Los Panaderos

Personal Documentary Photographer

Editors' Note:  Since this interview, MARY TERESA GIANCOLI has traveled again to Mexico to photograph Virgin of Guadalupe pilgrimages and the lives of those who remain in the towns and villages of Puebla. Many of those new images are included in gallery of Giancoli photographs.

Mary Teresa Giancoli Current Group Exhibition:
"This Case of Conscience", Queens Museum of Art, April 6-June 29, 2008

BIDDINGTON'S CREATIVE PROCESS interviews photographer Mary Teresa Giancoli in her Sunnyside, Queens studio.

Giancoli silver gelatin print
Los Panaderos, Atlixco, Puebla

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: My heritage is Mexican and Italian. I lived in Italy for two years, traveled in Southern Italy, and made a series of photographs of Sicily. I have photographed in Mexico, but began this ongoing series on the Mexican community here in New York.

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I grew up in California where the Mexican presence is part of everyday life. In New York City, the community is growing, but it is not as strong as other Latino communities. Mexicans who have moved here struggle to keep their cultural attachments alive. I wanted to take positive images of the culture and its people.

Giancoli first communionphoto

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I set out to find the Mexican el barrio. I began at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on West 14th Street in Manhattan. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the mother of all Mexicans who are Indian and Spanish. She is the symbol of identity and hope for all Mexicans who come to this country for a new life. I photographed during mass and religious processions.

Giancoli silver gelatin photograph
"Eric and Pablo--First Communion"

Giancoli first communionphoto

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I would try to work very quietly asking permission with just a gesture. Of course, I smile back when I take a picture.

Giancoli silver gelatin photograph
Man with Sombrero Praying

Giancoli religious procession

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: People seemed to become comfortable with my presence. Someone even asked me to photograph their wedding in that church.

Giancoli silver gelatin photograph
"Procession for the Virgin of Guadalupe"

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I followed the rituals surrounding the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Posadas (an eight-day series of processions, prayer and song before Christmas), Good Friday processions, and celebrations of Cinco de Mayo, Day of the Dead, and Mexican Independence Day.

Giancoli Mexican festival dancers

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I went to the Mexican Festival of Artistic Expression in the Bronx and also to the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Queens where people dance and parade in their regional costumes.

Giancoli silver gelatin photograph
Dancers from Puebla and Oaxaca

Giancoli photo Preparing Hairdo

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I like most to photograph outdoors and to show the performers preparing for the performance and relaxing afterwards.

Giancoli photograph
Man Preparing Woman's Hairdo, Feria del Sol, NYC

Giancoli dance couple Veracruz

Mary Teresa Giancoli silver gelatin photograph
Festival of Mexican Artistic Expression
Two Girls from Veracruz

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: Then I went to the Tortilleria Piaxtla, a Mexican-owned tortilla factory on Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn. I am struck by the devotion of people who face daily struggle in the workplace. There is an almost religious feeling there. The tortillas are handmade and the process is quiet and repetitive. The rhythms of making tortillas echo the rhythms of a holy procession.

Giancoli  tortilla factory

Giancoli photograph La Tortilleria Piaxtla--Pressing Tortillas

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: As daylight moves into darkness, I make blurred images. This muted quality locates the image in a part of memory that travels back and forth between towns in Mexico and New York City.
Giancoli  tortilla factory

Giancoli C-print La Tortilleria Piaxtla--Waiting for Delivery

Giancoli  pambazos

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I am interested in how people who are, by necessity, crossing between two cultures maintain ties with their homeland. So I record how they celebrate holidays and the foods they eat.

Giancoli silver gelatin print
Doña Hilda Making Pambazos

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: In working on this series, I look back to my aunts and uncles who migrated to California during the Mexican Revolution. I was driven by memories of my family, music and holidays, and traditional foods.

Giancoli  with box camera

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I like to work with lights and darks. Most of my photographs are made in natural light using an old Yashica twin lens box camera with variable stops.

Mary Teresa Giancoli

Mary Teresa GIANCOLI: I look back at the classical photographers: Stieglitz, Imogen Cunningham and Paul Strand. All three photographers are interested in form and light. But I also look at Graciela Iturbide and at Manuel Alvarez Bravo who understands Mexican tradition and its layers of symbolism and meaning

View Mary Teresa GIANCOLI's photographs currently offered for sale in
BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price Range: $575-$2000

Giancoli  color photo Aztec Dancers

Giancoli C-print Aztec Dancers at Basilica, Mexico City, 2002

Editors Note: The term "silver gelatin print" or "silver gelatin photograph" is the photographic term for a black and white photograph. "C-print" is the term for a color photograph. Photographs are typically produced as limited edition multiples. Mary Teresa Giancoli makes no more than 20 prints of each image. The works shown are available in 7"X 7" or in 10" X10" sizes.

COPYRIGHT: All images © Mary Teresa Giancoli.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction without permission is prohibited.

View additional photographs & information at:
Mary Teresa Giancoli's personal site.

MARY TERESA GIANCOLI Recent Solo Exhibitions:
"The Dance", Greenport Public Library, Greenport, NY
"The Creative Path", Flushing Town Hall (3-Person Show)
Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla
"Pan, Tortillas y la Familia" (Bread Tortillas and the Family from New York to Puebla), Queens Theatre in the Park, New York City
"Ritual and Celebration", Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
"La Guadalupana", Richard F. Brush Gallery, St.Lawrence University, Canton, NY
"Viva Mexico Viva New York", El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, Buffalo, NY
"Mexican Lives, Mexican Rituals", Southern Light Gallery, Amarillo, TX

MARY TERESA GIANCOLI Selected Group Exhibitions:
"Nosotras Portraits of Latinas", The Museo Alameda, San Antonio, Texas; Branigan Cultural Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico; The Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas, Sheldon Art Galleries, St. Louis, MO
"Queens International, The World in a Picture/The World in a Borough", Queens Museum, NY, Catalog.
"Propia Vision/Our Vision", organized by Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders at the Queens Museum, NYC and International Center, NYC
"Gender (F)", Westnorth Gallery, Baltimore, MD
"Recuerdos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead", Flushing Town Halll, Smithsonian Affiliate, Queens, NY
"Day of the Dead Auction", Rocking Horse Café, NYC
"Small Works, Big Ideas", Women's Studio Center, Long Island City, NY
"Hispanic Heritage Exhibition", Elmhurst Hospital and Queens Council on the Arts, NY
"Picante", Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA
"Generations '04", A.I.R. Gallery, NYC
"X Bienal Guadalupana International Graphics Exhibition", Museo Nacional de Las Culturas Populares; Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco; Casa de la Primera Imprenta de America, Mexico City; and Universidad Iberoamericana, Puebla, Mexico, Catalog
"Dia de los Muertos", Reflections of the Soul, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago, IL
"Nosotras: Portraits of Latinas", Carlsbad Museum, NM, curator: Virginia Dodier
IX Bienal Guadalupana, Casa de la Primera Imprenta de America, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City, Jurors: Ricardo Anguia, Guadalupe, Fernandez Lopez (catalog)
"Pan Am II: Exorcising the Exotic", Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY Curator: Craig Centrie
"Question of Faith", University of Northern Iowa, Juror: Eleanor Heartney (catalog)
September 11th, Here is New York, 116 Prince St. NYC
"Generations '02" A.I.R. Gallery, NYC
El Museo del Barrio, New York City
Taller Boricua, Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, NYC
Fabbrica Europa, Florence, Italy
Mayya, Miami Beach, Florida
Marymount Manhattan College Gallery, NYC
John Jay College Gallery, NYC
4th Street Photo Gallery, NYC (solo)
Siegred Gallery Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Hunter College Film Department, NYC
Casa de las Americas, NYC
7th and 2nd Photo Gallery, NYC
Prince Street Gallery, NYC
Phoenix Gallery, NYC
1994 and earlier
Art in General, NYC
Cross Country Traveling Exhibition, "Boxworks: Ancestors Known and Unknown"
Metropolis, NYC
Terme 29, Florence, Italy (solo)
Studio Pati, Arnesano, Italy

Mary Teresa Giancoli Recent Grants/Awards:
2001-2002  New York Foundation for the Arts Fiscal Sponsorship
2002  Daniele Agostino Foundation Award

MARY TERESA GIANCOLI Bibliography (Reviews/Published Photographs):
Buffalo News, Natalie Green Tessier, "Culture Exposed", Gusto, May 22, 2002
Richard Huntington, "Review of Pan Am II: Exorcising the Exotic", May 11, 2001
AHA! Association of Hispanic Arts News, reproductions, Winter 2001-2, Cover, page 6; Spring 2002, page 16; cover and inside feature
DiverseCity, Center for Humanist Cultures, reproduction: "Couple in the Zocalo, Atlixco", April 2001; reproductions, back cover, February 2001; "Father and Son", reproductions, back cover, December 2000
America Oggi, NJ: "Il Messico a New York con Mary Teresa Giancoli , reproductions, essay, May 6, 2001


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

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