“…(these) small book shapes were created by Maria Karametou to, in her words, “bring back to life and keep a world that has remained vivid inside me and has shaped and nourished me through the years- the world of my childhood in Athens”.
Clearly reflecting her Greek roots, Karametou is torn over her own American experience after immigrating… and deeply affected by the death of her mother in Greece and the birth of her own daughter.
“As I stand between them, thinking of how the one will never get a chance to meet, love and teach the other, I also think of (and often compare) the sheltered life my mother led, and that which my daughter, a Greek- American already a part of two different cultures, will have” Karametou writes. “I stand in the middle, reexamining my cultural identity and at times agonizing about who I really am, where I really belong- and even how much of my rich heritage I will be able to pass on to my daughter”.
(This is) a demanding show in that you need to think about what’s going on; it’s a very cerebral show” said Jones (director of the Danville, VA museum). “You’ve got to think about what’s happening and you’ve got to give something”….
Laura McFadden, The Danville Register, Danville, VA
“…Perhaps the appeal of book art is simply the promise of a story. Even the most sculptural artists’ books grow out of a narrative impulse, whether the story is drawn from autobiography, mythology, or contemporary political concerns… some of the most alluring pieces… are those that share the fewest qualities with books. “The Books I’d Write” by Bethesda artist Maria Karametou are only four or five inches high, and as might benefit an unwritten book, they contain no pages. Each thick, colorful block, painted like a book cover in high relief depicts an aspect of everyday life, captured in titles such as “Waiting for the Call” and “Day In, Day Out”. Yet, “In Athens, Once..” is born of the artist’s fearsome memories of Athens during the military junta, and “Gotta Get Away: The Manual of Little Escapes” unfolds a funny series of getaway vehicles from horses and trains to a pink limousine and a motorcycle. Together, the series speaks of a modern life and its ironic juxtapositions of the banal and the terrifying…”
Beth Joselow, The Washington Review
…”Karametou’s intimate (4-5” high “pocket books”) autobiographical books are miniature iconic presences whose presentation as sculpture on the round might suggest the medieval craft of illuminated manuscripts and the homage rendered to the scriptural word. “The Books I’d Write” especially the one entitled “Tryst” depicting two snakes on an enchanting field of flowers, recalls biblical references and forbidden love… .this is a thought- provoking show whose work in this context reveals a layered and complex vision of ourselves.
Lenore D. Miller, The Washington Review
“… Maria Karametou continues her metaphorical explorations in her homeland with wall bas reliefs and a series called “The Books I’d Write”. These tiny, mixed media books-but-not books depict ancient ruins... they’re colored with the bittersweet memory of a culture that may forever change in a restructured Europe. The look like treasured mementoes weathered in moving from place to place…”
Paul Clements, The Washington Review