R_SEPT.PSD#1 by Petra Cortright

Petra Cortright’s work draws explicitly from online culture. Cortright’s “digital paintings,” which are actually prints on aluminum panels, are gestural abstractions created in Photoshop over fragmented stock landscapes.






digital print on aluminum




Petra Cortright is an Internet artist born in 1986 and currently living and working in Santa Barbara, California. Cortright has resided in New York City, Portland, Oregon, Toyko, Japan, and Berlin, Germany.

She has studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is a member of the Nasty Nets Internet Surfing Club, Loshadka Internet Surfing Club, and Computers Club.

Petra Cortright uses a range of mediums, both digital and analog, to explore the aesthetics and performative cultures of online consumption. She is particularly interested in video-sharing sites like Youtube: in vvebcam(2007), for example, Cortright recorded herself on a webcam passively scrolling through different effects on the recording device, while a repetitive trance beat played in the background. Despite the video reaching international viewership, Youtube removed it in 2011, due, the company said, to its excessive use of “offensive” language; Petra Cortright tagged the film with explicitly sexual language, a component which the artist considers part of the work. Espousing a rough home-video aesthetic, Cortright often records herself performing simple acts and gestures, such as kicking a football, tugging at a tree branch, or dancing around a bedroom. Her works, which frequently employ effects, filters, or computer graphics, highlight video memes and behaviors common to sites like Youtube.

Cortright has exhibited internationally in galleries including the New Museum and Spencer Brownstone in New York; The Sundance International Film Festival; Artnews Projects in Berlin, Germany; Preteen Gallery in Mexico City; Gloria Maria Gallery in Milan, Italy; and at the Internet Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

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