WOMAN of ACTION™ – Pilar Viviente (Maria Pilar Viviente Sole)


A Celebration of Women™

is honored to Celebrate the Life of this Amazing Woman, Pilar of Spain.


Her Life is devoted to her passions in the world of Art and Surrealism.

Her passion includes offering her personal time to assist in the Mission of UNESCO, helping children of our World.

This Woman is a True Power of Example of PERSEVERENCE, teaching the Women of our World to ‘never, never give up….’





Pilar Viviente (Maria Pilar Viviente Sole)


I was born in Madrid (1958).

A few months after birth I moved to Peramola, my mother’s small village in the Catalan Pyrenees. I remain there with my mother, my two older sisters and my maternal grandfather while my father was in Paris making doctoral research at the Sorbonne University, where he became professor.

At the age of one, I moved to Paris with my family, joining the French school. That was the city my three brothers were born.

Every year the family summered in Peramola, we enjoyed nature with other friends and families from different countries, most of them intellectuals, scientists and artists. It was a wonderful time, free and full of rich experiences.


Six years later my family returned to Spain, living in Zaragoza city.

“I don’t know what was going on, but my new environment came as a complete shock to me. Things were gray and boring. Like the scene of Woody Allen’s movie where a slower train with gray passengers see in another other train going faster with colored dresses and funny passengers, I wanted to change my train and go back to Paris.

At the age of 18 I entered into the work world. In many countries 18 is the age of majority, but at this time in Spain was 21. At the end of the Franco regime the Spanish university was very involved in politics. I couldn’t figure it out.

From 18 to 23 years old I worked as an artisan, fashion designer and pianist, attending school at the same time.This evidence influence me in the making of a decision.

And after got enrolled in Philosophy and Literature I left the campus, I went to live in a suburb, and I began to study Arts and Crafts.

In this period I set up crafts workshops in neighborhoods of immigrants and working for fashion companies, traveling to Italy for these reasons. I wanted to know new things. And I discovered many important contradictions, affected by the emotion of curiosity. By instance, social inequalities, unacceptable privileges, deprivation of poverty, survival of marginalized, poverty and lack of education.

In fact, human sickness, social illness, decay in repressed society.

The desire to go further led me to leave Zaragoza city and all the projects and business running on. Then at the age of 23, I moved to Barcelona to study Fine Arts. My academic training was enlarged with a BA (1987) and PHD in Fine Arts (1993). I received my Ph.D. from Barcelona University in 1993 and since that time I has taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at Barce­lona University, Zaragoza University and Miguel Hernández University of Elche. I knew that everything is a learning process, however, we need to connect points, life and academy. Otherwise, there is not knowledge at all.

I was totally engaged in my Fine Arts studies and I was lucky. I had the privilege to be strongly sponsored during and after my studies. I was (II) National Award Best Scores in the Degree of Fine Arts, (VII) National Young Art Prize, (II) Isabel of Portugal Prize, etc. And I held different scholarships. As a Degree student, from Barcelona University (Cuyas Scholarship for Painters) and from Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture (2 years Collaborative Scholarship for Students).


Then, as a PHD student, from INJUVE Youth Institute of the Spanish Ministry of Culture (Scholarship Travel to European Museums), from Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture (FPI, 4 years Scholarship Training of Teaching and Research Staff) in the Fine Arts Faculty at Barcelona University, in the Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) at Paris, and in the Department of Art History and Archeology of Columbia University at N.Y. City. And once achieved my PH.D in Fine Arts, from the Government of Catalonia (1 year Scholarship for Artists and Cultural Operators) in Paris.

In the historical sense, I have been considered an artist of the “reflective generation,” which emerged in Spain at the end of the 80s and early 90s (CLOT, M. & MENDEZ, J., 1989. “Los pintores del 90. Una generación reflexiva”. EL PAÍS, Barcelona-Madrid, 15-8-89), basically characterized by a greater social commitment and a multidisciplinary artistic spirit with respect to the previous generation. And it was really like that. Those years were governed by enthusiasm. I was working pretty hard, but under the star of fortune and freedom everything seemed easy. I was courageous in everything I did, was an amazing period with many trips and projects in my hands.

After have been payed for followed a specific governmental program, intended to training of teaching and research staff, however, troubles were soon to arrive into my professional carrier. As an artist I wanted stabilize my professional carrier with a job in the University, but I couldn’t get it. The application forms became a routine. Requests without answer, programs and programs for nothing. They denied my requests. Why? Hard times makes you feel insecure, surrounded by instability. The true horror of the false reality push me to the “return of the repressed”. I had to deal with the absurd, the incoherent. And again the image of the Woody Allen’s train. Maybe I was wrong, I thought I was mistaken, but I couldn’t denied all my former beliefs. Then, better be patient, and do several attempts. Whether you like it or not, I’m going anyway.

In 1996, I was totally disappointed and I taught again in High School (Dominican Order, Zaragoza) as I did in 1987 when I started my carrier (St. Teresa Order, Barcelona). And working hard for survive as an artist too. It wasn’t so easy. Nervousness and fear were persistent. Instead, the stress disappeared when I was involved in the creative process of art. I understood that the uncertainty are intrinsic to the art but we need some certitudes and social cohesion in order to achieve results from human effort. This brings social progress and public welfare. That’s because democracy must guarantee it.

After all, primarily, we need to trust. If you really trust in what you do, challenges makes you stronger.

Perseverance and engagement are your allies.

Do not care if society don’t understand what you do.

Doesn’t matter!

Do not waste your truth.

Do not miss yourself.

In 1998, finally, I had a great opportunity. Then I moved to Altea (Alicante) as a professor of art at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Miguel Hernández University ( www.umh.es), which started in 1997. This project was very exciting and I have been deeply engaged to set it up.

At the present time, I’m a contracted professor of the Design/Drawing Area, I have been Area Director since 2006 to 2010 and art critic of the contemporary art magazine El Temps d’Art since 2002 to 2007.


Following my social empathy and conscious of the need of global aims, I’m a UNESCO member of InSEA (International Society for Education through Art) ( www.insea.org) since 1997 and of InSEA ERC (European Regional Council) regularly participating in international conferences. I was not worried about paying with the sale of my artwork for this purposes instead of buying a car. Money is just a medium, and it’s has been a good investment. I learned from international exchanges traveling Europe, USA, Middle East, and Asia. It gave me confidence and helped to define my path. LUXEMBOURG 2011: http://welovemags.com/archive/?mag_id=827

From the beginning, the struggle pushed me, make me stronger. Don’t ever stop, just push until you hit the top. “Quod non me destruit, me nutrit.”: That which does not kill me can only make me stronger. Since my first group exhibition (Murcia, 1985) and first solo exhibition (Zaragoza, 1987) to the present I participated in more than 100 exhibitions and I done 2 murals (Barcelona, 1987, Sevilla, 2000), and my work is published in more than 100 publications to include conference proceedings, scientific magazines, and contemporary art magazines, art catalogs, and press releases, both national and international.

I’m known as Visual Artist and Mixed Media Artist, Painter ( http://clara.nmwa.org/ ). And I have developed my works in a variety of media: painting, sculpture, engraving, drawing, photography, video, installations, music (pianist performer), and writing (poetry, essay), exhibiting regularly since 1987. I had exhibited in different galleries, Spanish and international museums like Maeght Gallery, Barcelona; Fernando Alcolea Gallery, New York; Elaine Baker Gallery, Florida; Centro de Arte Santa Mónica, Barcelona, Galeria Oliva Arauna, Madrid, etc., and I participated in Art Biennials and international art trades. My works are represented in important museums and collections all over the world such as: Fundación Fernando El Católico, Zaragoza; Andrea Serrano, Barcelona; MACBA, Barcelona; The Progressive Corporation Collection, New York; Fundation Satsuma, París; Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona; CAI, Zaragoza; Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo; Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; MGEC, Marbella; Venusberg Museum, Frankfurt; etc.

I enjoyed the creative process but needed to share with others too. It’s a wonderful experience, exploring different artistic languages and discovering the richness of perception and communication. The creative process is so powerful, stimulates brain connections, particularizes ideas and concepts, intuitions, feelings and emotions.

In addition, makes you feel free, liberates the deep energy, satisfies the ego, gives pleasure. Because art allows the individual to express things looks for communication, avoids isolation, enhances sensitivity and self esteem.

Creativity contributes to a higher understanding and integration with nature and social environment, construction of the self and social identity.

Art is some­thing that stimulates thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and ideas. That is because artworks are useful first for who does it but for society too. When I look back it’s clear to me what happens, all these intense moments, those changes, fears, hopelessness, happiness, enjoyment, however, nourished my artworks, involving psychology, philosophy, and social issues, as pedagogy, environmental sustainability, care of our planet or cultures, global understanding, etc. Through the arts I’m searching myself, it’s an answer to the circumstances, an artistic interpretation, even more, an expression which engage me with society -discovering and exploring various media to stimulate meaningful, critical, and pluralist knowledge. If you can handle the situation, you become a stronger person.

Art practice is a creative and critical form of human engagement that can be conceptualized as a form of research and which can be directed towards a range of personal and public ends (Graeme Sullivan, 2006). For instance, SAVE NATURE-SAVE CULTURE (2006), is a site-specific art installation in New York City’s Le Petit Versailles (LPV), a public garden maintain by neighbor volunteers. As an alternative public arts space, LPV is a small garden located in the East Village in an effort toward environmental sustainability. My installation addressed the issue of sustainability of community gardens. And I have published a visual essay: The feminist Pedagogy of SAVE NATURE-SAVE CULTURE: A Double-Coded Art Installation (Visual Culture & Gender, Vol. 3, 2008. p. 87. http://explorations.sva.psu.edu/vcg/ ). This visual essay concerns a feminist pedagogy of double-coding that I embedded and embody with this art project.

Among my current projects is the development of the electronic media work, Sweet Water 2007, a digital video (02.59’) about global warming was shown at the Stage 8 on the 7/7/07, a festival in Z-Rocks Outdoor Amphitheater in the virtual world of Zwinktopia. The video has been presented in my solo exhibition, «El jardín de las cuatro horas» (The Garden of the 4 Hours), May-June 2008, Espai d´Art Contemporani de la Finca de la Barbera, in Villajoyosa (Alicante, Spain). As the name suggests, the exhibition was a multicultural dialogue between cultures through the garden topic, showing paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings and video installation, including a piano performance at the opening.

Moreover, in my last project, I worked on sexuality, human passions, Eros and Thanatos, reaching down as deep into unconscious regions, transgressing taboos, and reflecting ancient mythology of our civilisation. This series of erotic drawings are represented in the Döpp-collection in Frankfurt, and in his Bataille-project too (Venusberg Museum). As Hans-Jürgen Döpp says, since 25 years he is working as a collector of erotic art at his Bataille-project by giving away illustration contracts for the short novel “L’Histoire de l`Œil” to artists from which he has the feeling that they have the fire of a Georges Bataille in her fingertips. From the beginning, he says, the “Histoire de l`Œil” was an illustrated text. For the original edition 1928 André Masson created 8 lithographiess. Bellmer created 6 etchingsfor the second issue 1947.


Mi obra en la galería BCM, Barcelona. My work in the gallery BCM, Barcelona.



In brief, learning through art practice is a process of growing up, a process of imagination and knowledge, an experience of freedom, an expression of a distinct individuals. May we don’t achieve our desire, goals can’t be against the constraints of our society, perhaps we deserve more than what life gives us, or we get something we were not looking for, such pain and confusion, but certainly things happen for some reason. Thus, you must find the meaning, the inner answer. Human search for meaning is individual, it’s your path.



Looking back….attended Primary School at the French Institute, but I had to repeat the last course of primary school at the age of 9 year in a private Spanish school in order to be integrated. However, this caused me a complex of inferiority. Then I went to a public Spanish High School, followed by Arts Studies which includes a BA in Piano (1976) and a BA in Arts and Crafts (1985).


Do not be misled by fear…

“But man can overcome what frightened him, he can see into his face.” (Bataille).

Don’t be scared, be free.

Just be creative, open your mind, be yourself and share with others.

“Take a look at yourself and then change.” (Michael Jackson).

No matter what you want to be.


First of all, Believe in Yourself.

Today, I’m proud to the attempt to conquer my path. And I give thanks, specially to those who have helped me to stay strong when everything was falling to my feet, without judging me, those who have showed their dreams for a while to push my dreams, uncertain future bets. The fight was not always understandable, but they trust me and was for them a personal joy. Thanks to them! For me they are part of the conquest. Life wasn’t designed to be a solitary pursuit. So, I still believing in human beings, life, love, freedom, and respect. To live means to participate… to participate in life, embracing the power of creativity and its benefits, enough to increasing economy and healthy in our society.


Life was done to be lived!



Pilar’s Website: http://www.viviente.info/

Pilar’s Writing: http://explorations.sva.psu.edu/vcg/3vol/Pilar.pdf

Pilar’s ART: http://www.arteinformado.com/Artistas/12444/pilar-viviente

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