An active figure in Madrid’s Movida, Ouka Leele imposed, from the end of the 1970s and the Spanish cultural revolution initiated after Franco’s death, a photographic work revealing a surrealist and singular poetics of everyday life. From his colourful and eccentric universe emerges a pictorial mastery and an unbridled creativity.
What will immediately distinguish her from the others is that she is a photographer, who is also a painter and a poet, someone who will mix, synthesize, two art forms in an original way: first by making black and white photos on subjects she prepares and then by coloring them, like one does in old movies, to give them another youth. But here the colouring, which is done directly with watercolour on the photograph, is in reality a recreation, a transfiguration of reality, a change of register, an addition of images or unexpected details to capture the imagination, to arouse fantasy, to tip over into the surreal, to capture the extravagance of life in motion.
“I’ve never liked photographic colour,” she says, “it’s a photo but it’s not reality – it seemed to me that my memories of the experience were lost with the colour photo. »