Denise Stewart-Sanabria

Region: South

City / State: Knoxville, TN

The foodstuffs we consume are the characters I use to stage elaborate situations. They are stand-ins for humans engaging in crazy or questionable behaviors. With fingernail polish and artificial colors, I beautify them beyond what is natural so that they will be desirable. Over the years, I have had pears enact Inquisition scenes, impaled maraschino cherries on nails, and had donuts enacting the seven deadly sins and various fertility rites.

The still lifes of the vanitas genre, with which these works most closely identify, originally were domestic images containing items symbolic of life and death. The objects in mine act out narratives instead.