international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
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Denise Stewart-Sanabria
Knoxville, TN


page 159


Humans do things that amaze, entertain, and occasionally horrify me. If I documented them literally, I would probably have constant censorship issues. I use food, however, as a stand in for humans. Not only is it more amusing, it can also be  delicious! Over the years, I have had pears enact lynch mob scenes, impaled maraschino cherries on nails, while on a more innocent note, squashes and mangos have posed as adult birds with their eggs. "Still Lifes", which is the genre these works most closely adhere to, were originally domestic images containing items symbolic of life and death. The items in mine act out narratives and describe human behavior.

In my "Donuts Behaving Badly" series, all forms of debauchery are found. If it is hard to guess what is happening, the painting titles, such as "Binge and Purge", and "The Immaculate Confection" give it away. Donuts are wonderfully fleshy and human, and can lay about with far more lethargy than even a dog on a hot day.  The first series used the powdered and overfilled donuts I've purchased from Dunkin Donuts as subjects. The second series contain the more tan and muscular Krispy Kreme donuts acting out "The Seven Deadly Sins".


born: 1956, Worcester, MA


University of Massachusetts/Amherst, BFA 1978

selected awards/honors

2nd Prize Award, "American Art Today", The Bascom, Highlands, NC, 2009
Purchase Award,11th Annual Renaissance Center Regional Art Exhibition, Renaissance Center, Dickson, TN, 2009
1st Prize, "Artists on Location", Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN, 2009
Arts & Heritage Creative Award, "2nd Tennessee Biennial", Clarksville Custom House Museum, Clarksville, TN, 2008

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville College: "Eat Me: Anthropomorphic Food Paintings", Maryville, TN, 2010
Tennessee Art Commission Gallery:"Skeletons in Closets",  Nashville, TN, 2008
AVA Gallery: "The Human Presence", Chattanooga, TN, 2006
Nashville International Airport: "Flying Solo:", Nashville, TN 2004

selected group shows

Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee: "CONTINUARE: The Figurative Tradition in Contemporary Art", Knoxville, TN , 2010
Clarksville Custom House Museum: "Modern Girls: Contemporary Women in Tennessee Art", Clarksville, Tn, 2010
William King Museum: "From These Hills 2009: Contemporary Art in the Appalachian Highlands, ", Abingdon, VA  2009
Fort Wayne Museum of Art: "Biennial: Contemporary American Realism", Fort Wayne, IN , 2008

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