Denise paints both hyper-realist “portraits” of everything from produce to subversive jelly donuts. The anthropomorphic narratives often are reflections on human behavior. 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.
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Denise says, “I specifically do not label my work as ‘still lifes,’ which I consider an archaic and inaccurate term for what I am creating. Still lifes have traditionally been genre paintings of domestic items and food, often with symbolic references attached to them connected with life, death, and survival. What I am doing is pure observation — how the eye perceives my subjects in all their beauty as light hits them, intensifying the color saturation. I am also interested in their ability to create complicated abstract compositions when combined in groups or scattered across the picture plane.”
Born in Massachusetts, Denise received her BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She has lived in Knoxville, TN since 1986.
2018 solo exhibits include Contemporary Altars of Misappropriated Mythology, Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN, Encounters, at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville Alabama, and Another Virtual Reality at New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art at University of Southern Indiana.
Her work is included in various museums, private, and corporate 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, Jewelry Television, TriStar Energy, and the corporate offices of McGhee Tyson Airport.