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Petra Cortright Is a Digital Artist Who Surfs the Internet to Paint Like an Impressionist

2 min read  · 17 May 2023

Petra Cortright, BIG TITS Black Magic_Blue Cross Blue Shield Homepage BLUES with a feeling (2021). Copyright the artist, courtesy of Société, Berlin

Petra Cortright is on the HENI News radar after solo shows in a Southern Californian museum and Berlin gallery of her complex and painstakingly crafted digital paintings.

Los Angeles-based Petra Cortright's HENI Score—a unique artist’s sentiment—has risen an impressive 160%, boosted by a solo show at the Palm Springs Art Museum and at her gallery in Berlin.

The artist's auction sales have totaled an impressive $670,900 over the past two years, including $65,758 for her 2018 painting, DEATHKARZ "australia" and "songlines" and "dreamtime"_ 102.12018 at Sotheby’s London, more than six times its upper estimate. Her works are typically priced from $15,000 to $125,000.

She is represented by Berlin's Société, which organized a solo show featuring her large-scale digital paintings in 2022. She is also represented by Danziger Gallery, New York, and by Brintz Gallery, Palm Beach. She has also shown at County gallery, Palm Beach.

The artist, who was born in 1986, has long used Photoshop and surfed the internet for inspiration to create her digital paintings, typically luminous landscapes and seascapes, which she then prints on aluminum, linen or paper. She also makes "digital" sculptures rendered in marble and works in video and film. An early video self-portrait, VVEBCAM (2007), originally created for YouTube, was acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2019.

In her solo show at the Palm Springs Art Museum, "Petra Cortright: sapphire cinnamon viper fairy", the artist showed imaginary landscapes made by the complex layering and collaging of images as well as screen-based pieces. Her work also helped launch the museum’s fall exhibitions alongside pieces by fellow Southern Californian artist Phillip K. Smith III in an event titled “Color and Shadow”.

In 2018, Cortright took part in the MCA Chicago’s sprawing group show “I Was Raised on the Internet.” The MCA has one of her digital paintings on aluminum in its collection.

“I always wanted to be a painter and I think I have a painter’s brain but I don’t have the patience for the process or the materials,” Cortright told Kate Brown of Artnet News. “I have always just felt so clever and powerful when I use a computer. I can work quickly and I can make so many files—I think that’s a holy grail situation for an artist,” she added.

To find out more about Petra Cortright, see her HENI Dashboard. A unique feature of HENI News, HENI Dashboards allows you to discover thousands of artists who you may not be familiar with along with well-known names.


Petra Cortright

Los Angeles