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Denise Deleray

Professional info

I started my career as a make-up artist and wigmaker at the San Francisco Opera, working on elaborate, colorful productions like Aida and Turandot.

My travels took me to Sydney Australia, where I studied art and portrait painting by day at the University of New South Wales, and worked as a make-up artist at the world-famous Sydney Opera House by night.

In 2003, I moved to New York City and studied at the Art Students League on West 57th Street. Mesmerized by the beautiful ethnic diversity of New York City, I created a series of 12 portraits of women entitled "We are One", representing the city's diverse population. Soon, I abstracted out just the skin tones and the figurative art disappeared. I studied immigration and places of ethnic diversity, which led to creating geographical maps of places with highly diverse populations, such as New York City, California and the USA, with dots and dashes representing skin tones and drips of color representing streams of migration.

However, in seems I always come back to the FACE. Portraits are my passion in many different mediums: pencil, pastels, acrylics, oils, or gouache. Looking forward to what's next.

Work experience

Freelance Artist

2015 - present   @Studios 11 in Oakland, CA

Museum of Modern Art, New York ~ Information Desk

November 2005-2020

Chashama, Inc. Artist Residency

Brooklyn, NY


Opera Australia, Sydney ~ Make-up Artist 


Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics ~ Costume Construction


San Francisco Opera ~ Make-up Artist, Wigmaker



University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia ~  MA degree

California State University, Hayward ~ BA degree

Art Students League, New York City

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