Hairloom and more art by Maria Karametou

Hairloom, 2015
45 x 12 inch (h x w)
Synthetic Hair
coat hanger

Inspired by my personal experience and history of migration, mobility, and displacement, my work has always related to the exploration of identity and our journey of self-discovery.

My most recent series 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 and strands of hair - an identity signifier throughout history- 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 girl growing up in Athens, Greece. In this respect, these works also relate to my cultural background.

What interests me is to uncover the poetry of the commonplace materials I am so familiar with, transform them to explore social stereotypes, and speak about what I know, who I am, what my relationship as a woman is to the world, and, ultimately, about the gender-related experience.

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other works by Maria Karametou

24 x 72 inch (h x w)
bobby pins
Synthetic Hair
hair net

12 x 45 inch (h x w)
Synthetic Hair
coat hanger

Embroidery #2
40.5 x 66.5 inch (h x w)
bobby pins
Synthetic Hair

Dynami , 2020
9 x 15 inch (h x w)
Mixed Media Textile

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