Reviews


Studio Visit with Mary Teresa Giancoli for Professional Women Photographers, May 2014 by Catherine Kirkpatrick
Mary Teresa Giancoli’s work combines a lush visual style with a deep interest in the customs of distinct Spanish communities. After the opening of a solo show at the UAM (universidad autónoma metropolitana) in México City, Giancoli visited the small town of Cuetzalan, halfway between Puebla and Veracruz. It is rural and lush, struggling to improve itself economically while trying to hold onto traditional ways.
She was drawn to the Maseualsiuamej, a cooperative of women who banded together in 1985 to gain independence. They broke economic ties with men, got a micro loan to manage an eco-hotel, established a tortilla factory, and began to sell their beautiful needlework in the markets to gringos.
Giancoli’s photographs capture the rhythm and texture of the Cuetzalan women’s lives, from their brightly colored home interiors to the beautiful blouses they make, which incorporate symbolically local flora and fauna–wild turkeys, lush vegetation, and exotic fruit like maracuya.
When she came, the people of Cuetzalan told Giancoli they had been photographed before, but never seen any pictures. Not only did she win their trust, but gave them back beautiful and sincere images of themselves.

Migrant Images by Toni Munna, The Suffolk Times, NY, August 3, 2006
Navigating the transition between two cultures is a subject of personal interest to photographer Mary Teresa Giancoli, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, (whom she never met), whose heritage and childhood memories inspired her to chronicle the lives of Mexican immigrants in New York City. Her silver gelatin black and white prints depicting Mexicans in their kitchens, their churches, their festivals and their streets are on exhibit at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport.
The candid photographs in the series begun by Ms. Giancoli in the 1990s depict women, men and children going about their lives, unaware of the photographer’s inquisitive lens. The photographer captures a sense of place and emotion, yet evokes a sense of timelessness in her work. One piece, Procession for the Virgin of Guadalupe, is haunting with blurred images of churchgoers in motion around the focal point of a lone woman.

Picante: Latino Influence on American Culture by Jennifer Alt
In Eco Latino, Athens, GA, August 2004
Photographer Mary Teresa Giancoli, employs her chosen medium to explore the traditions and stereotypes manifested in society through cultural influence. Giancoli's black and white silver gelatin print portrait of mother tending to daughter presents an age-old bind that transcends categorical barriers in a common element of love and documents a tradition that becomes unique to a culture only through language, dress and other external markers. Giancoli presses past labels by portraying the unifying presence of tradition.

Hunter Ingalls, Amarillo Globe News, TX, November 4, 2001
There’s a softness to all the images, even when the contrasts are strong.  The highlights of the church interiors are like whispers.  The gentleness of prayer is present in a very affecting way, even in many of the festival related images; it’s as if Giancoli only wanted images which could attest to the beauty of simple incidents.
All these Mexican moments come from locations in and around New York City. The exhibit is not only a fine display of black and white photo artistry but also a touching testimony to one person’s belief in the nobility of the human spirit.

Ann Holcomb, critic, Marymount Manhattan College, NYC, April 1999
Mary Teresa Giancoli bridges cultures through photography as well as journalistic and educational collaborations. Giancoli’s photographs of Sicily demonstrate empathy and curiosity. In Sicily, Giancoli examines bonds of family and community in connection with place. Her cultural revelations, whether human, architectural or social are framed dramatically--even heroically. She uses light to suggest rather than define, giving her images mystery and intimacy.