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Bethesda, Maryland

A New Page
Mixed media, 22 by 27 by 3 inches

Maria Karametou is a mixed media artist whose work has been exhibited extensively both in the U.S. and internationally, including The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; The Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; The Ludwig Museum for International Art, Aachen, Germany; the Elite Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Apartman Projeci, Istanbul, Turkey; The North Dakota Museum; The Baltimore Museum; The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C; The John Elder Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Trito Mati Gallery, Athens, Greece; The C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland; among numerous others.

Karametou’s work is in many public and private collections worldwide. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the First Prize in the Maryland Biennial; the international project “Penelopeia” sponsored by the Presidency of the European Union; and a Fulbright Grant as a Senior Research Scholar to Istanbul, Turkey. She is a professor at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia.

As an immigrant coming to the U.S. from Greece, a country with a homogeneous population, I was naïve at first about the various types of bigotry I would be subjected to, and had no idea what I could do preferring to "just grin and bear it".

When I first read the books that "Speaking Volumes" provided, and because of my personal experiences, I was outraged and reacted very forcefully.  In the end, I realized that I don’t want to fight hate with more hate with this project. I simply want to wash off the foulness, erase it all and render it powerless, clean it out like a wound-- so that it can pollute no more.

After experimenting with various liquids and solvents that included clorox, alcohol and mouthwash, I decided to first cleanse the book pages off with green soap. I then separated them from the book, and rendered the writing on them powerless by superimposing the 1/2" white margins. This gave me two new composite blank pages on which I printed the universal symbols of a man and a woman. Not a black or yellow, thin or heavy, Jew or Christian, but man and woman, just two human beings. At the bottom of the work there is a sphere covered with the ashes of the remaining pages; it stands as testimony to all the lives that hatred has cut short”.


Maria Karametou