Denise Stewart-Sanabria is a Knoxville-based artist born in Massachusetts. She received her BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.
Her recent paintings focus on commercial design over the centuries as an insight into human desire juxtaposed with contemporary food dramas. Sanabria paints hyperrealist "portraits" of everything from produce to subversive jelly donuts. These "anthropomorphic food narratives" often reflect human behavior.
"When you look at the interior design and products from different times in history, you are reading the culture, dreams, and preoccupations of that time," says Sanabria.
She is also known for her life-size charcoal portrait drawings on plywood, which are cut out, mounted on wood bases, and staged in conceptual installations. In 2019, Sanabria was awarded a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant for her work on wood.
Her work has been featured in multiple solo shows across the country. It is included in various museums, private, and corporate collections, including The Tennessee State Museum, The Knoxville Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art, Omni and Opryland Hotels, Federal Reserve Bank in Nashville, Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and the corporate offices of McGhee Tyson Airport to name a few.
She is represented by Chauvet Arts Nashville in Nashville, TN; Mitchell Hill in Charleston, SC; and District Arts in Fredrick, MD.