Sonya Rapoport was born in Boston, MA in 1923, studied at the Art Students League in New York and earned her Master of Arts in Painting in 1949. Her early work is in the Abstract Expressionist style, and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco in 1963.
Despite her success with Abstract Expressionist painting, she became known for her later work as a conceptual and new media artist. She used discarded printouts of data charts, and responded aesthetically, drawing over the dot matrix with colored pencils, which resulted in dense, abstract drawings. Later still, Rapoport created interactive installations and with the
help of computers, coders, and algorithms, she was able to analyze the results of each
interaction and develop data portraits of the participants that delved into their
personalities. She is considered a pioneer among artists using emerging technologies
in the 1980s, and did so from a unique feminist perspective.