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Petra Cortright
1301PE, Los Angeles, California
by Jody Zellen

Petra Cortright, “Sigma_plotONdouble-thickTAICHIturdicken.ezmeal,” 2016, digital painting on Sunset Hot Press Rag paper, 40 1/2 x 29 1/4"

Petra Cortright burst onto the gallery scene after some initial success as an internet artist. She in many ways is best defined as the quintessential "Post Internet Artist," a term that is met with disfavor, as so-called "Post Internet Artists" are really artists "of the internet" in that they comb online sources to use in works that more often than not are digitally derived but not viewed on a screen or a computer. "quack doctor violet 'saltwater fish’” continues themes from previous exhibitions and her ongoing search for imagery that will constitute the base layer of her works. The images, textures and shapes and patterns she uses are carefully melded into Photoshop layers. She uses this program as a tool in much the same way a traditional painter uses a brush. The digital images, transferred to rag paper or canvas, overlay gestural marks with varying opacity. The found imagery — in this case both landscapes and still-lifes — produce lush, intricate abstractions that rely on someone else's original photograph as a point of departure. Cortright also appropriates stock animations which she inserts into looping flash animations and presents on small-scale monitors hung on the gallery wall like paintings. She chooses cartoon-like depictions of unicorns, birds and fish in varying sizes and colors that are made to float across the screen between layers of abstracted landscapes. These compelling animations reveal how the work is enmeshed in digital processes.

1301PE Gallery

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