Ouka Leele is the real name of Barbara Allende Gil de Biedma, a Spanish photographer born in Madrid in 1957. Despite her aspirations to be a painter, she discovered photography as a way to express her inherent and passionate artistic sensibility.
Amid the 1980s in Madrid during the nation’s “Movida” movement, she demonstrated her interest in a variety of artistic domains such as drawing, serigraphy, painting, and writing, culminating in a sequence of pictures labeled “icons of her time.”
Ouka Lele, 64, a renowned photographer and painter, a wonderful fellow with a booming personality, kind at heart, and friend to many, died unexpectedly in a Madrid hospital after being ill for a long time, leaving her family and friends in deep agony and devastation.
Funeral Service And Tributes
The artist died on Tuesday in a Madrid hospital after a protracted illness, prompting countless tributes.
Miguel Trillo, another veteran chronicler of la movida, called her “a person of unequalled trajectory who belonged to a generation that chose not to be like the ones that came before and which embraced the then intellectually minority tool that was photography”.
Marta Rivera de la Cruz, the culture minister in the Madrid regional government, said the artist’s death was “an irreparable loss” for the life and culture of Madrid.
“She was a brilliant woman who was full of life and full of talent,” said the minister. “She leaves us a fabulous body of work, but she’s gone now, and we’re going to miss her very much. You can’t understand the cultural life of Madrid – and still less the so-called Movida Madrileña – without the life and work of Ouka Leele.”
The Spanish government tweeted a photo of one of Leele’s most renowned works, 1987’s Rappelle-toi, Bárbara, which introduced the tale of Atalanta and Hippomenes to Madrid’s Cibeles fountain.
“We mourn the passing of Ouka Leela, a master of photography who knew better than anyone how to get across the essence of the Movida Madrileña,” the party said. “You leave behind work that captured a world. Rest in peace.”
Her body will be sent to the San Isidro Funeral Home. The obituary for Ouka Leele is not yet complete. Ouka’s family will put her obituary online soon, including funeral ceremonies, dates, and burial preparations.