Petra Cortright’s core practice is the creation and distribution of digital files, whether they be videos, GIFs, or jpegs, using consumer or corporate software and platforms. She has become renowned for making self-portrait videos that use her computer’s webcam and default effects tools, which she then uploaded to YouTube.
Cortright’s paintings on aluminum or acrylic are created in Photoshop using painting software and appropriated images, icons, and marks. The digital files are endlessly modifiable, but at a “decisive moment” they are translated into two-dimensional objects. They become finite, yet their range of motifs and marks, and their disorienting perspectives and dimensions suggest dynamic change.
Petra Cortright (Santa Barbara, CA, 1986) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She has studied fine art at Parsons The School of Design, New York, NY (2008) and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004).
Selected exhibitions include: the “4th Ural Industrial Biennial Of Contemporary Art,” Ekaterinburg and other cities of the Ural region, Russia; “RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME,” City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (solo) (both 2017); "Electronic Superhighway,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; "Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations,” Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, CA (both 2016); “The Metabolic Age,” MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; "On YouTube. Kunst und Playlists aus 10 Jahren,“ Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; “Im Inneren der Stadt,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany; "NIKI, LUCY, LOLA, VIOLA,” Depart Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (solo) (all 2015); "Art Post-Internet,” Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2014); Frieze Film, Frieze London, UK; and the 12th Bienniale de Lyon, France (both 2013.)
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