One of the first Photorealists to emerge in New York, Denis is widely acknowledged as the pioneer and primary architect of Hyperrealism, a divergent style of painting founded upon the aesthetic principles of Photorealism. His earlier photorealist paintings were shown at the Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum, Emily Lowe Gallery, Gallery Dix, Pratt Manhattan Center, Max Hutchinson Gallery, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Hotel Perkins and others.
His more recent hyperrealist paintings have been displayed at Salmagundi, Next Gallery, Art Hamptons, Miami Art Show, Thomas Paul Gallery, Broad Street Studios, Victory Hall, LA Art Show, Plus One Gallery (UK), Tate Modern Museum (UK), Smithsonian, and currently at Mark Gallery. WOR-TV's Brenda Blackman invited Denis as a special guest on a one hour special about his Darfur genocide paintings. He was also interviewed by correspondent John Bathke at Cable News 12 in a feature covering his controversial homeless painting series shown at Victory Hall in Jersey City.
His paintings can be found among internationally significant private collections and public companies. Denis has been invited by Brown University, Pratt Institute, Rutgers University, NYU, Michigan State University, Montclair State University, SUNY, Downstate, Hofstra University and Lycoming College to exhibit his paintings. Due to popularity among serious art appreciators, Denis has exhibitions scheduled through the year 2010 both in the United States and in Europe.
A growing number of authors and commentators have written about his hyperrealist paintings, including Fergal Keane, author and special correspondent at BBC, Robert Ayers, art critic at ART Info, curator Mary Birmingham, critic Chris Rywalt of NYC Art, editor Joshua Rose of American Art Collector Magazine, commentator Ari Siletz and Graham Thompson, author of American Culture.
"...hyperrealism is a performance art. Viewers are deliberately made to notice the amazing amount of time and painstaking effort that went into portraying this... Peterson isn't showing off; he is a radical painter, compelling us with his dedication. The astonishing realism is the result of every wrinkle and twist of hair being colored and shadowed in the context of reflected light from every other object in the scene. Whereas the camera does this mindlessly as a matter of optics, the artist has endured whatever it took to make sure human eyes do not respond as mindlessly. We can flip the page on a "Newsweek" photo, worth a click of the camera, but we can’t as easily turn away from such an extraordinary labor of compassion."
~ Ari Siletz, Commentaries