Petra Cortright‘s practice has largely evolved over the internet; the Californian artist is known for the creation and dissemination of digital files. Videos created on a home computer, recorded via webcam and featuring special effects made using basic software are what propelled Cortright to prominence, with GIFs, JPEGs and animated emoticons also popping up to doff their hats or barf over each other.
A recent gallery exhibition in New York marked something of a departure from her usual work. Called ily (an abbreviation of I Love You for the shorthand-obsessed and acutely impatient digital age), the show at Foxy Production comprised of painted works on plexiglass. While her digital files are not only based on movement — but also remain open to further manipulation further down the line — these objects are a frame frozen in time, like a still from an animation. Using many layers of pigment and texture, the ily pieces show a mixture of figurative and abstract imagery created using Photoshop and greetings card software, with recurring motifs such as blackberries and gift boxes — perhaps playing on the vocabulary of technology — seeming to fall from the top of the frame like a painterly screensaver.