what you see is what you get
Marco Zumbé
Presented as part of the Workspace ’15 exhibition series, featuring recent work of LES Studio Program residents

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Cologne-based artist Marco Zumbé2015 AAI artist-in-residence.

Entitled WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get, the exhibition’s title borrows from a term used to describe program interface that replicates the final appearance of a document or image during the editing process. Widely used today, the concept was first introduced in the mid-70s and popularized within a decade of its development. As the application of WYSIWYG programs expanded, a growing number of users were able to create and manipulate digitally based text, websites and images without an in-depth knowledge of HTML-code. While, in many ways, a milestone in the democratization of technology, the proliferation of such programs posed a new set of challenges — namely, the variation between displays meant that identical images across all platforms and devices could not be assured.

Zumbé’s recent work gestures towards this challenge—that the appearance of an image cannot be replicated across all states—while also confronting the program’s intention to integrate the manipulation and perception of an image into a singular experience. Painting broad unconscious strokes on combined layers of plastic sheets, metallic foil and fabric, Zumbé builds subtle compositions that create the appearance of structure and space. With mirrored elements along the surface of each work, the reflected image of the exhibition environment then becomes, temporarily, integrated with the work itself. As a result, the appearance of each image becomes inherently tied to the context in which it is displayed.

While the drag-and-drop method of WYSIWYG programs allows a visual perception of accuracy, it is, in fact code—a string of abstract signatures—that renders the final form. Similarly, Zumbé implies the presence of a single image while unobtrusively revealing the layers of information that generate each construction.

Although Marco Zumbé’s work appears to be abstract, it is often guided by narrative underpinnings influenced by his study of illustration at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Working across painting, installation and public intervention, Zumbé’s practice is expressed through a manipulation of space composed through layers of material and simultaneous perspectives. His signature painting integrates commercial displays, adhesive film and building accent materials to provoke alternating tensions between material and surface, object and abstraction, space and its imitation. Through this process, the two-dimensionality of his paintings approach three-dimensional space; a space to which the viewer is challenged to adapt. Zumbé lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and the LES Studio Program are programs of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Marie and John Zimmerman Foundation, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.