I’ve tried regular painting before—it’s the slowest, dumbest thing on the planet. You can’t undo, you can’t copy and paste, I don’t have the patience for it. The whole waiting for paint to dry thing just doesn’t work for me. —Petra Cortright
Petra Cortright has been called ‘the Monet of the twenty-first century’. The LA-based artist gives analogue painting a digital makeover. Shifting between the digital and the physical worlds, Cortright interrogates definitions of painting and questions the boundaries of online/offline existence. Cortright creates her paintings from Internet-sourced imagery, which she manipulates using online software. Lifted from Google Images and Pinterest, colours, patterns, and skin tones are broken down and reintegrated to become the digital ‘paint’ from which she builds slowly-morphing, fluid abstractions, consisting of hundreds of painterly layers and effects. These files are presented both as still paintings and as ‘live’ videos. In LA Weekly, they were described as ‘Cy Twombly meets Hayao Miyazaki, only denser and more whimsical’.
Our show features a suite of new paintings on linen and paper, video paintings, and YouTube-hosted webcam performances. There are also Flash animations of kitschy scenics, which apply the aesthetics of the desktop screensaver to the gallery wall.
This is the first time Cortright’s work has been shown in New Zealand. The show is a partnership with Tristian Koenig, Melbourne.