CURATOR Aaron Lister PARTNER Tristian Koenig, Melbourne OTHER VENUES Tristian Koenig, 16 February–25 March 2017 PUBLICATION text Aaron Lister
Petra Cortright has been called ‘the Monet of the twenty-first century’. Her work has been described as 'Cy Twombly meets Hahao Miyazaki, only denser and more whimsical'. This LA artist is giving painting a digital makeover. Shifting between the digital and the physical worlds, she interrogates definitions of painting and nags the boundary between online and offline existences. Cortright creates her paintings from Internet-sourced imagery, which she digitally manipulates. 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. The 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 desktop-screensaver aesthetics to the space of painting—the gallery wall.