Denise Stewart-Sanabria (b.1956, Worcester, MA) paints both hyperrealistic still lifes of everything from candy to produce to glassware, usually in front of an ornately patterned backdrop. The anthropomorphic stories created within her images often serve as humorous commentary on human behavior.
Stewart-Sanabria received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Her work is included in various museums and collections including The Tennessee State Museum, The Evansville Museum of Art in Indiana, The Knoxville Museum of Art, Firstbank TN, Pinnacle Banks, Omni and Opryland Hotels, Scripps Networks, Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and TriStar Energy.
The carefully staged objects in the works of Denise Stewart-Sanabria may be inanimate, but referring to her hyperrealistic paintings as simply still lifes would omit her narrative prowess. Combining historical patterns and vanity painting tropes with contemporary confections, the artist humorously speaks to the state of our relationships with food, beauty, and artificiality. But Stewart-Sanabria’s observational power is not just illustrated in her deliberate selection of subjects. Whether through capturing the translucency of gummy candy, the reflection of colored glass, or the sandy texture of sugar, her proficiency at handling paint makes her portraits all the more true.