PILAR named one of Utah’s 15 Most Influential Artists by
Utah’s Art Magazine
Opening Reception on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, 6-9 p.m.
Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande St. (455 West), Salt Lake City
Show will be hanging from Jan.18 – March 8, 2019
Pilar’s Translation of her interview with Diario de Mallorca
Read on below for the english version of Pilar’s interview with journalist Matías Vallés.
“In Utah, Paint landscapes that evoke Spanish and Mallorquin places.”
Pilar: “I was born in Madrid in 1926, and lived in Mallorca, my mother’s birth place until I came to Utah in 1956.”
Pilar, a Mallorquin artist well recognized in Utah, where she established her life after falling in love with Walter G. Smith.
She was a granddaughter of the Marquis of the Tower (Margués de la Torre), and became the mother of three children, Luis, Mönica and Magdalena (Maggie). She is visiting Mallorca now, with dual citizenship, Spanish and U.S.A and has her right to vote in her two countries.
Interview by Matias Vallés
Diario de Mallorca, Oct. 27, 2018
I love the mountains in Mallorca! My friends and I have just been in Valldemossa. We have visited “La Cartuja” the old monastery that was made famous in the 1800’s when Chopin and George Sands explored a winter there. We also went to Semita, a small hermitage high over the mountains covered of pines, olive trees and almonds.
La Ernita de Valldemossa is my favorite place in the world; from there you can see the sea horizon in an immense curve between mountains, rocks, islets and pines reflection in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is beyond imagination!
I have been told that Pilar Pobil is a very well recognized artist in Utah.
Yes, people know me. I am a person that never had any art education. My father died in the [Spanish] Civil War (1936) and my mother believed that a woman’s place was at home or in a convent. During my youth in Mallorca, I had to lie all the time to accomplish all I wanted to do in my life.
What has been the highest price you have received for a painting?
It was for a very large painting for the lobby of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Utah. It is 11 feet high and eight feet wide. They also have several other paintings of mine in the building.
You are also the only Mallorquin artist living in Utah?
Yes, to my knowledge, I am the only artist. I have met very a few people from Mallorca in Salt Lake. One of them is María Moya, who was a teacher in a program for emerging languages.
I have brought many of my friends to visit Mallorca over the years and many other people know about the island from my paintings and my writing across the U.S.A.
To leave Mallorca is one thing, but to leave to marry a Mormon defies imagination!
I left Mallorca because I fell in love with my husband. He was from a Mormon family that came to Utah with the pioneers many years ago, but he was not a member of the church. If he had been, I could not have agreed to marry him.
Let’s say that you don’t like the President of the USA.
I am a Democrat, anti-Trump and anti-firearms in the streets. I am a supporter for the rights of women and minorities. I have just done a large painting titled: “The Dames of The Round Table,” with Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Rachel Maddow and Maxine Waters, because I believe this is the Year of the Woman!
Your work mixes the joy of living with the input of critical opinion.
My work is expressionistic, it has many variations, I follow my feelings and my imagination. I start with an idea and very soon the painting itself tells me where to go.
Your painting is more Latino-American than Spanish.
No, please do not compare me with Frida Kahlo! I don’t have anything to do with her style. I paint with my own point of view and that happens to come out of my head!
How long can you go without visiting Mallorca?
I love to come! My last visit was four years ago, but I am getting old. I am 92; perhaps I will still come again but the plane takes so many hours, it is horrible. I am not worried about the future, I want to enjoy life as long as I am alive and able to work then go fast!
What do you know about Mallorcan art?
I don’t follow it, but now when I go back, my paintings will be strongly influenced by Mallorca.
Are you happier in your nineties than in your eighties?
No, I have gone through horrible tragedies in my life, but I have also had a very happy and active life. I have many loving friends in Utah but I still live alone because I want to be independent and not cause problems for anyone else.
I have seen your burial chamber.
This idea came to me when I had a show in the Cultural Center. I wanted to do like the Equito Faroons and other cultures do when someone died who had done some special work. They would put in their burial place some samples of their work along with the tools they had used so they could go to the ever after and continue their work. This became my burial chamber.
It is not good to laugh at death, death can be very vindictive.
My idea was not to laugh at death, but to celebrate all the things on earth and continue to do it in my other life.
Are you concerned with the afterlife?
I am not religious, I am agnostic, I don’t know what happens after death. The idea of the chamber is purely symbolic.
Are you more gregarious than Mallorquinas?
I am not a true Mallorquina. I did not obey my mother, I did not want to be like my older sisters who were bored and bitter, doing nothing. I think my mother relaxed when I left Mallorca.
Your father, an Admiral in the Spanish Navy, was killed in the (Spanish) Civil War. How would your life have been if you had stayed in Mallorca?
If my father had lived, I would not have left Spain. I adored my father and have never recovered from his death.
He, Luis Pasqual del Pobil Chicheri, was killed in the Naval base of Mahon, Menorca at the beginning of the Civil War, August 3, 1936. He was killed by a group of many that were called “Milicianos.”
Most of them were criminals that had escaped from prisons and penitentiaries. They had stolen arms, and were in the streets, getting in houses and apartments, taking people out to the road from Mahor to the castillo de la mola and killing them. They killed over 800 that day. My father and forty of his officers were killed that night.
Every year, through my life, in the last days of July, I prepare myself for his death. I have never forgotten.
Translated from Spanish by Pilar Pobil.
Pilar recently returned from a beautiful pilgrimage back to her home in Mallorca, Spain where she was interviewed by renowned reporter Matías Vallés of Diario de Mallorca.
Read the interview (in Spanish) here and stay tuned for more photos and andecdotes about Pilar’s amazing trip!
Honoring Patrick Moore Hoagland. 1956-2018.
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear friend Patrick Moore Hoagland. He passed unexpectedly on Friday morning, May 25th. Our hearts ache over the loss of an incredible leader and visionary in the world of art and of the Pilar Pobil Legacy Foundation. We are so grateful to have had the time that we did with him as an exceptional President of our board. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and beloved partner, Luis.