Mondo artist Pilar Pobil was recently featured in El Mundo, the national daily newspaper in Spain, Pilar’s native country.
Click HERE for a link to the article (which is in Spanish).
For those of us that don’t speak Spanish, Pilar has translated the article below.
The Light of the Mediterranean Sea in Utah
The Mallorquin painter Pilar Pobil, by Carlos Fresneda.
Translated by Pilar Pobil
The island: Mallorca. The little girl: Pilar Pobil. The time: Around eighty years ago, on the verge of the fratricide of the Guerra Civil war in Spain in which she lost her father. The Adventure: The daring jump across the ocean, enamored of Walter, her American love.
“Are you Mormon?” was her first question to Walter- “Are you polygamous?” He must have felt enchanted with her unexpected questions and unusual curiosity; at that time, hardly anyone in Europe had heard of Utah and the LDS Church in the City of the Lake of Salt. Walter had fallen in love with a girl who was brave enough to break from the traditions prejudices of her remote island home (“I must have been the first girl in Mallorca that married an American”). In turn she departed across the sea to unknown America, and the city where she started her second life.
Since her childhood, Pilar has had art in her being. Her father was her first and only artistic mentor. Pilar’s mother did not believe women should be occupied by anything except ordinary household chores and occupations. As a young teenager of fourteen, she painted greeting cards that she sold to curiosity stores without her mother’s knowledge. She also created her own magazine, Luz y Colores, letting her paints and brushes express themselves on the white paper. But the restlessness she carried inside did not break free until much later, when she was mother of three children in Utah.
The self-taught and indefatigable artist that was inside finally broke the barriers of her prison, starting first with clay scluptures that represented familiar images of her childhood, Christmas figures and saints from the old churches, the peasant men and women she had known, and the people she had loved. Soon she was turned to watercolors and oils. Nourished by frequent visits back to Mallorca and Spain, the memories of Pilar’s past began to materialize in paper and canvas in images like “Se Murada”, ‘El Sol ardiente”, “Mediodia”, and many others of unmistakable Mediterranean flavor.
Unavoidably, the transparent light of the southern Utah deserts slowly infiltrated her retina, along with the warmth and the brilliant colors of Mexico. All these influences, collected with the passing of time among different people and landscapes, converge together in what she defines as her third life, living alone and independent wit her dog, in her Museum home in the Avenues.
Her World in Salt Lake City
Here, in the most liberal zone of the city, protected by the mountains with their snowy peaks still white at this time of year, Pilar has created her own world that jumps from her canvas to her frames, and from there to the doors, the columns, the basement, the chairs, the garden, and all she can reach except the attic (already beautiful and sacred treasures from the past, and I cherish and respect their integrity, Pilar says). “I cannot stand still, I feel the urgency to create with the time that I still have left, either with brushes and paint, or writing, painting with the imagination.”
“The Art of Pilar Pobil, with its movement and brilliant color, reminds us of the mental and physical landscapes of El Greco and Joan Miro, the passion for Mexico of Frida Khalo, and the Utah deserts of Maynard Dixion,” writes Robert Newman, Dean of the Uiversity of Utah College of Humanities, in the indroduction to Pilar’s book My Kitchen Table: Sketches of My Life. The book was published by University of Utah Press, and is a testimony to Pilar’s life and art.
Pilar lost her husband Walter ten years ago, but did not feel the need to close the circle and return to Spain. Overcoming the sadness of her loss, she decided to remain in the puzzling city by the lake that she loves, in her house that has just surprised us with its hidden secret spaces and magic garden. “I denied myself for so long, that now I feel more than ever the urgent commitment and promise to my work. My roots are in Spain, never forgotten, but now this is my world, surrounded by friends, and people I love. I visit Spain frequently (my youngest daughter lives there) to absorb the landscape of mountains and sea, and the passion of my people that is always in my memory, but this is the place where I want to stay and create my work as long as I live.”
Salt Lake City, June 2010
published in Spain’s El Mundo magazine
To see works by the talented Pilar Pobil, please Click HERE.