Allison Cortson was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1978 and now lives in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from UCLA in 2001, and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts two years later. Her practice is informed by an interest to investigate the known world through science.
Most recently, she has explored the representation of human beings, in a series titled Dust Paintings. She photographs each subject in their home and then, over a period of months, gathers the vacuum bags full of dust from in their home.
‘Dust consists 70% of human skin. It arrives as a remnant of our own existence and degeneration,’ Cortson explains. She renders the human figure in oil, and their environment solely out of dust gathered from their home. This includes pets. Their particles, too, are represented in the dust.