“… Maria Karametou ’s “Abandoned” (is) dedicated to the memory of her mother. A tiny house, only 10 inches high, has a window out of which a woman leans, reaching vainly down to a little bouquet of flowers left on the step out front. It’s a reminder that no matter how much children love their parents, they abandon them to some degree as they grow up. Efforts to make it up to them are futile, for it’s impossible for children to return the full measure of parents’ love. In its quiet way, this is the most moving work in the show”.
John Dorsey, Art Critic, The Baltimore Sun
“ … these basic structures.. create intellectually provocative, visually arresting commentaries on our relationships to dwellings (how we are “bound” to the house form) and the people who have occupied or will occupy them. The work also explores images of the house as temple of the soul, a shrine of memory, and the ultimate shelter.”
Lee Fleming, Art Critic
“The intimate structures of the home continue Karametou’s investigation of the psyche, through the examination of the unconscious. In “Vacant” a traveler returns from an extensive journey only to discover a house closed and boarded with sign of life.
Karametou employs a bricolage of mythology and psychology combined with curious abandoned objects to probe the persona and offer the viewer a deeper understanding of the workings of the unconscious mind.”
Angela Ogle, The C. Grimaldis Gallery
“… Maria Karametou , a Greek- born Marylander who explores her sense of cultural placement (or displacement)… Emblematic of her identity- questioning concerns is “Vacant”, a house-like structure with a little suitcase sitting in front of it. The house’s many windows are all covered with international postage stamps…”
Mike Giuliano, The Baltimore City Paper
“ Maria Karametou ’s “Abandoned” is a little stone-like house in gray plaster with no door. The colorful image of a young Victorian-looking woman appears in the house’s only window. Holding tight to a bunch of flowers, the woman seems forlorn over the lone blossom tat has fallen to the ground and lies at the base of the small house, like an offering left at graveside…. succeed(s) by embodying the pathos of struggle and loss in simple forms, producing works that are strong but not schmaltzy.”
Adam Lerner, The New Art Examiner
“Maria Karametou takes the essence of contemporary urbanity and tames it. While denying nothing- loss, isolation, routinization- she also insists on the complex beauty of the city and its inhabitants. A wall of iconographic busts, in which each individual contains a symbol of some aspect of contemporary life, offers a memorial to the human spirit. The main motif takes the form of a house- here a hovel, there a skyscraper, but always more than mere dwelling. These houses offer what art does at its best- they encourage viewers to comprehend (or compose) their own story. “Vacant” subtly suggests the ageless tale of death and absence simply through the new suitcase left in front of its barred and rotted door and the cancelled stamps embedded in its walls.
The tension between nature and city represented by the exquisitely painted trees on three tall houses (obelisks?) in “Cityscape” reflects that opposing tug in all us “urban tenants”. The pieces in this show are sculptural mixed media, either wall reliefs or free-standing, with masterly elements of painting on many of them. Prepare to spend time here- one cannot just look at these works; they compel a more intense interaction. “
Rima Schulkind, “Must See” , KOAN
“As appealing and enigmatic as coffers, reliquaries, or shrines, Maria Karametou ’s small mixed –media house sculptures pack a powerful presence. A subtle glow reminiscent of lead seems to emanate from their heavily textured, dark-gray wall and roofs that, in nice contrast to that “base metal”, are occasionally touched by a glint of gold leaf. But a house is most of all a home, Karametou reminds us. She positions tiny artifacts – a sleeping cat, milk bottles, flowers- from everyday life on the windowsills and steps of her structures, tying pieces to our common experience and in the process lightening an otherwise strong sense of psychological and emotional weight.
In her most recent work, though, Karametou has moved beyond making discrete “shrines” to create installations that are archetypal examinations of our relationship to time and eternity. Her installation for AAC (“Child, House, Game”) positions a nebulous figure, childlike yet also ageless, before a blank wall, carrying a staff in its hand as if undertaking a journey. A bicycle wheel, symbolic of childhood yet also evocative of the cycles of life and the eternal mandala, leans against the wall. A painted figure of a bird soars on the wall “sky”; a simple gray shape, like a child’s notion of a house, with steep, peaked roof, is positioned on the same wall, a bit to the standing figure’s other side. The tableau could simply document a child resting from play, about to go inside her house. Yet so spare are Karametou’s details, and so universal are her images, that we begin to sense something greater taking place. The traveler on this journey is heading home- but not to any earthly realm. “
Lee Fleming, Art Critic and Guest Curator, “Artsites” Regional Biennial