At the apex of this work, a classical structure adorned with ancient Egyptian motifs and hieroglyphics, Cortright has placed a pole dancer in mid motion, merging elements of ancient and contemporary cultures and creating a space in which time exists in multiple idioms. The lush jungle and aquatic landscapes that fill the work’s upper and lower registers are timeless, able to exist in any era, while the human and architectural elements of the work conjure specific references to worlds both past and present, augmenting the digital painting’s magical realist sensibilities, which allow the sky to exist below land at the horizon line.
OPHELIA is a digital painting on hot press rag paper mounted on dibond.
At the center of American artist Petra Cortright’s practice is the creation and distribution of digital and physical images using consumer or corporate software. For Cortright, the Internet provides materials, making techniques, and a platform for viewership of her digital work, which is also manifested physically through materials ranging from aluminum to silk. Cortright’s digital paintings, created using Photoshop, exist within these two realms as a reflection of the artist’s interest in the varied processes and possibilities of digital and printing methods of production.
Petra Cortright (b. 1986 in Santa Barbara, California) has exhibited both nationally and internationally at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Austria, and the Venice Biennale, Italy. Her work is held in the permanent collections of MOCA Los Angeles, MCA Chicago, and Kadist, Paris, among others.