Inspired by the deep South Denise Carson has spent over two decades living on a barrier island in the low country of Savannah, Georgia. Southern Gothic aesthetic strongly influences her creative genre. Carson’s painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography work explores reflections on themes like childhood, faith, suffering, loss, compassion and unconditional love.
Carson draws inspiration and insight from a variety of theological and literary sources, seeking dialogue with mythical and archetypal meanings in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Much like Southern Revival aesthetic, music, morals and paradox abide in the visual narrative of her work.
Denise Carson completed both her B.F.A. and M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Educators who made a significant impact on her artistic development were photography mentors Sally Mann and Keith Cardwell. In Chicago at (SAIC), contemporary visual artists and educators Nick Cave, Anne Wilson, James Elkins and Lisa Wainwright challenged Carson’s use of materials, subject matter and meaning the results of which is evident in her work today. Carson does not create “art for art sake” with a singular view of the work she creates. The artwork is intentionally didactic, moral and utilitarian in resourcefulness. Carson’s audience is important in her artistic license using visual narrative as subject. The work references art history, nostalgia, and appropriation with sentimental impulsion. Riddles, paradox, metaphor are eluded to in the titles of the work. Carson is a full-time professor of painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Carson has a comprehensive exhibition history, twenty- seven international solo and group exhibitions, and seven solo exhibitions in the United States. Notably, her work was highlighted at the 2001 International Young Art Auction at Sotheby’s in Chicago, New York and Tel Aviv, Israel. Her work was also selected for the Southern edition of New American Paintings and Studio Visit publications 2018-2019. Denise Carson’s work is in the Smithsonian Museum American art collection, the American Girl corporate headquarters in Chicago, The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the Savannah College of Art and Design permanent collection , Benecki Homes Architects in Atlanta and numerous private collections in the United States and Abroad.