“…Pandora opened one- and let loose the world’s evils. Now people use boxes, with less calamitous results, every day: we live in them, pour our breakfast cereal from them, even make art with them… After visiting her native Greece, where she noted that the overcrowded Athenian apartment buildings resembled matchboxes, Maria Karametou
Crowder used actual matchboxes to create a set of miniature, often nightmarish, scenes: a sea monster, a tiny soldier, a barred window with a monstrous eye. Another sculpture recalls her youthful frustration with a traditional religious education….These lace-edged matchboxes…simply hint at the remarkable transformations undergone recently by the lowly container on its journey into the realm of “fine” art.
Nancy G. Heller, Art Historian and Author
“…Humor is the driving force behind Maria Karametou Crowder’s box relief piece called “Beauty Contest”. It depicts variously shaped female breasts – as different as different persons’ facial expressions- and is a kind of whimsical parody of the day of judgment at the Miss America beauty contest. In her other work Crowder ingeniously and subtly manipulates small matchboxes…”
Kerstin Rost, The New Art Examiner
“..(Karametou’s) mixed media works of wrapped and painted canvas present complexities of space and depth. The cut-out forms overlap and intertwine creating layer upon layer that penetrates the surface. They are probing as well in their psychological complexities. Some clearly speak the language of sexual politics with the depiction of bonds, lace trimmings, and flesh pink palette. But mostly they seem concerned with exposing, pulling back the curtains, revealing space.
“The Mad Woman of the Neighborhood” is marvelous with its intricate patternings in blues and blacks. The elegance of color and shape belies the implications of the title.
Karametou Crowder’s work is sometimes disturbing in its palette, while paradoxically other pieces are monochromatic harmonies. Through it all the recesses of space present questions for the viewer that are not always easily answered”.
Victoria Gellner, Art Historian and Writer
“ Maria Karametou ‘s work is responsible, personal and inventive. At first glance one clearly observes a very rich imagination manifested differently in each of a series of older drawings, non-representational mixed medias and collages, and finally in the constructions, which are made from various everyday materials, and which succeed in being original even within the surrealistic tradition. At the same time however, one has to also admire the deep understanding this creator has of her media, as well as of the materials she uses for each body of work.
This excellent “métier” which defines Karametou’s work is first established in the older drawings, such as for instance in the fascinating “Faces: Me” (graphite), with its magnetic presence, in “Symfora” (ink) and in the “Sunday Visits” (ink), which is an artistic epic of a personal vision. It is expressed in yet a different way and with different “dimensions” in the mixed media paintings, which are autonomous presences but still connect with a unified body of work. Finally, this excellent métier characterizes her constructions, in which the artist’s personal experiences and memories materialize in many original ways and materials.
In the non- representational mixed media works, the otherwise seemingly unrelated collaged elements are orchestrated each time in an absolute harmony of color: various pieces of cloth cut to different sizes and placed in the “right” compositional position, photographs, children’s notes, a stocking, a velvet bow, pieces of hair, and the “burns”, (that are often repeated in such a way as to give dynamism to the canvas surface), are all tied together and carry the composition. The pink, beige, off-white and grey tones that prevail here are combined in such a way as to give the composition a pulsating clarity.
In the constructions, the inspiration with which the artist captures the central idea on the one hand, and the “solutions” with which she has worked out even the smallest details on the other, creates a very strong impression on the viewer. For instance in the construction entitled “I Read”, even though the head and torso of the human figure are missing, we not only “see” the figure, but we also feel her psycho synthesis through the characteristic placement of the hands, the placement of the legs, the sliding of the limps on the seat.
This is work of quality which, ..not only establishes a strong talent but also foreshadows a very positive future.
Dora Iliopoulou – Rogan, Art Critic
(translated from the Greek)