My work is about creating powerful illusory realities. As paintings, they are not about perfection in imagery. Nor are they about the craft of meticulously duplicating photographic images. The illusion of a photographic image is merely a means to an end, not the end itself.
My source photographs are limited two dimensional simulations of three dimensional realities. They serve as a roadmap for altering balance, lighting, color, perspective, and depth, etc. These compositional elements make my paintings entirely new representations as altered realities. This transformative process of hyperrealism incorporates my instinctive and personal aesthetics as an artist.
The illusion of reality in painting is not just an aesthetic. It is an altered reality framing a provocative visual statement to elicit a core response from the viewer. Every painting is individually executed with a distinctly different approach, including painting materials used. I do this so that my work is not redundant in appearance, especially since each composition has its own unique set of challenges. In this way, I can grow along with my work, as opposed to being bound by it.
Much of my work has focused on hyper-reality as a cultural subtext relating to the dominance of corporatocracies which underwite ongoing genocides around the world, disenfranchise people onto the streets, and desensitize urban populations by aggressively promoting mass media consumption. These particular painting series reflect some of these visual observations and sociological notations in an ongoing artistic compendium of my work. - Denis Peterson
American Culture in the 20th Century, Edinburgh University Press
"One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 60's and early 70's. It is also called super-realism or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack, and Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. The hyperrealist genre is clearly more than an attempt to replicate the mechanical action of taking a photograph."
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