Ouka Leele, a photographer and painter who was a part of Madrid’s Movida movement, died at the age of 64. Allende, Bárbara Gil de Biedma, a major face of Spanish social and creative revolution in the 1980s, uses watercolor to create her black-and-white photos. According to a source close with the artist, Bárbara Allende Gil de Biedma’s artistic nickname, Ouka Leele, died on Tuesday, a month before her 65th birthday. She died in a Madrid hospital this afternoon after becoming ill.
Ouka Lele is a notable member of Movida Madrid and has received numerous accolades, including the National Photography Award in 2005 and the Silver Award from the Community of Madrid. Photographer, painter, and pop culture figure. He was a vital character in the bustling art scene of the time, as well as a prominent face of the Spanish Revolution and the social and cultural transformations of the 1980s. His work is inextricably linked to black and white images, contaminated films, music, and powerful watercolor paintings. His work has been shown in numerous places since then, and he has worked for organizations such as the Reina Sofa Museum, the La Kaisa Foundation, and the Arco Collection.
Born in Madrid in 1957, her first profession was painting, in fact, she studied fine arts, although she dropped out to study piano, and at the same time she went to study photography at the Photocentro in Madrid (the first photography school in Spain). ). She began exhibiting in 1978 after publishing her first work in a book called Principio. Her photos are usually black and white (she hates color photos), and when she was commissioned to do color photos for the cover, she decided to invent the color of the image. She thus began to color the snapshots, combining her career as a painter with photography.
In an interview with this newspaper in June 2021, she recounted her beginnings: “I am very shy, but I am a bit like the piper of Hamelin because everyone enjoys what I do. One day at school, I told my classmates to go to the closet to hang on the hangers, and when the teacher came in there was no one in the classroom… I think photography is a practical thing. I went to the Photocentro school in 1975 [coinciding with Pablo Pérez-Mínguez and Jorge Rueda] Because an annoying friend told me “let’s go, let’s go”, when I saw the development I liked it. Then we took photos and we cried with laughter… it’s the germ of the Movida”. .
She is part of the creative team of Ceesepe, El Hortelano or Alberto García-Alix. They’ve all collaborated on what they’ve done in magazines like The Star. One to play, the other to paint, and they encourage you to take photos… very creative, we think we’re important, we’re doing something historic. We do not dedicate ourselves to art to earn money. The important thing is the freedom to do what we want, ”she told EL PAÍS.
Her career continued with exhibitions in Spain, Europe, the United States and Japan, without forgetting her purely personal work. Among them, she participated in the São Paulo Contemporary Art Biennial in 1987 and her first retrospective at the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art (Madrid). Ouka Leele has no editing: what appears in the photo is prepared before the snapshot, and for the author, this is the most interesting creative moment because it creates an unreal world.