Petra Cortright’s core practice is the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate softwares. She became renowned for making self-portrait videos that use her computer’s webcam and default effects tools, which she would then upload to YouTube and caption with spam text. Cortright’s paintings on aluminum, linen, paper, 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. 

Cortright (Santa Barbara, CA, 1986) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY (2008) and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). 

Selected exhibitions include: “The Body Electric,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (upcoming, 2019); “I Was Raised On the Internet,” MCA Chicago, IL; Nahmad Projects, London, UK (solo)(both 2018); Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinberg, Russia; 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA (solo); City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (solo)(all 2017); Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco, CA (solo)(2018 and 2016); "Electronic Superhighway,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; Carl Kostyál, London, UK (solo)(both 2016); Foxy Production, New York, NY (solo)(2017 and 2015); 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; Depart Foundation, Los Angeles (solo)(all 2015); Société, Berlin, Germany (solo)(2016 and 2014); Frieze Film, London, UK; 12th Bienniale de Lyon, France (both 2013); Preteen Gallery, Mexico DF (solo)(2011), and the Venice Bienniale, Italy (2009). 

Cortright’s works are in the permanent collections of The Péréz Museum, Miami, FL; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; MOTI, Breda, in collaboration with Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; MCA Chicago, IL; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, CA; BAMPFA, Berkeley, CA, and the San Jose Museum of Art, CA. 


2008 Parsons School of Design, New York, NY  

2004 California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA