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Inspired by my personal experience and history of migration, mobility and displacement, my work has always related to the exploration of identity and our personal journey of self-discovery. I have worked with a variety of materials and cross-disciplinary techniques for several years to examine identity by observing, recording and interpreting the world around me as I see it.
In the most recent series my work addresses the relationship between gender and identity, beauty, time, and family history. By repurposing mass produced materials commonly associated with women such as bobby pins as well as strands of hair, and using them like needles and threads, I “stitch” intricate designs and patterns that often bring to mind embroideries and weavings.
I make no preliminary studies. I put a few lines in, move back, see what is needed, add a few more, loving the immediacy, the surprise and the risk. As I incorporate (and frequently cut) each individual bobby pin one at a time, the process is labor intensive and slow like the handiwork my grandmother taught me to make as a young girl growing up in Athens, Greece. In this respect these works also relate to textiles, and examine the boundaries between art and craft.
What interests me is to uncover the poetry of the commonplace materials I am so familiar with, transform them in order to explore social stereotypes, and speak about what I know, who I am, what my relationship is to the world and, ultimately, about the human experience.
Maria Karametou is a mixed media artist, originally from Athens, Greece. She has an extensive exhibition record that includes the National Museum of Women, Washington, D.C.; The Vorres Museum, Athens, Greece; The Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany; The National Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; Apartman Projesi, Istanbul, Turkey; Kunstwerk Carlshütte, Büdelsdorf, Germany; Asian ArtWorks, Beijing, China, The Gwanghwamun International Art Festival, Seoul, Korea, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, among many others. In the U.S. where she lives her work has been shown at numerous locations nationwide including at The North Dakota Museum; The Baltimore Museum; The Holter Museum, Montana; The Taubman Museum, Virginia; The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C; The John Elder Gallery, New York, N.Y; The C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Gallery K, Washington, DC. Karametou’s work is in permanent collections worldwide. She is the recipient of many awards including the First Prize at the Maryland State Biennial, and was most recently a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar for work in Istanbul. She holds the MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, and is a professor at School of Art, George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
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