“A Ver Solo Se Aprende Mirando”, or “You Only Learn To See By Looking”, is the new solo exhibition by Christian Riffel a.k.a. Poeta, a local artist who straddles the line between urban and contemporary art. Graffiti was the catalyst for Riffel’s immersion into the art world, after he began painting in his native Villa Ballester with friends in 1999. Following a decade of creating figurative pieces, six years ago his work to a turn towards the abstract, and now his oeuvre is distinctly geometric in nature. This attracted the curiosity of Pablo Frezza, the show’s curator, who himself is completing his thesis on the subject of concrete art, a movement whose visual focus is on geometry and is more cerebral than conceptual.

The show’s title references the artist’s disillusionment with the modern paradox of living life through a filter, of seeing the world without experiencing it.

“I’m inspired by a problem I see; of how people seem to look but don’t really see. It seems to me that we see and become familiar with one another through a sort of screen, which dictates to us what we see.”

According to Frezza, by “populating the space with drawings, paintings, videos and installations, Christian Riffel invites us to rethink our way of seeing”. Over 15 works, ranging from pencil drawings and watercolor paintings to sculptures and sound installations, lead the visitor through a new artistic language that the artist has been developing over the years; planar volumes in a palette of pastels give way to a play of curves and lines while spiky shadows twirl in the corner. A particular rhetoric is generated, one which aims to challenge the viewer into re-imagining the realities presented to them.

“I’m interested in having people observe and experience these new pieces in a deliberate and active way.  I’d like them to be sensitized by the show and to question how they see or what they look at on a daily basis.”

Opening tonight, Friday July 29th in Galeria UNION, “A Ver Solo Se Aprende Mirando” will be running until September 23rd.