Denise Stewart-Sanabria

Photography by Kellie Crye Ward

Shaped by a childhood steeped in art, music, and photography, Denise Stewart-Sanabria creates art that captures humanity at its best and at its worst. Hailing from a small town in Massachusetts, Denise grew up with a family that encouraged a love of art. Having regularly visited art museums and attended a great school system, Denise felt destined for the world of art. “Since I was about 3 years old, I figured I was going to be an artist. It was as if it were an ingrained obsession.” “What I do is almost anthropological or sociological. Humans love to stare at other humans and figure them out and that’s basically what my work is about—even my food paintings are anthropological, behavioral explorations.” For her work, the essence of a good human is one that is completely unware of the photographer, which is why she seeks images of people staring at her work, creating an almost cyclical, self-referential expression of humans interacting with humans. In her latest series, Denise uses and creates toile wallpaper while exploring the narrative of humanity through food. One example juxtaposes the shepherd with modern processed food. This captures the false idea of the shepherd working happily in the field and the over-processed “ideal” food that we create.

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