Rapelle-toi, Bárbara (1987)
The lions pulling the chariot of the famous Madrid fountain dedicated to the goddess Cybele do not look at each other, they carry the heavy burden of having offended the Greek goddess with their love.
This fountain, an icon of the Spanish capital, is watched by thousands of citizens and visitors every day. It is photographed. It is contemplated. It is admired. Each viewer, led by his or her own imagination, will wonder –or maybe not– about certain issues regarding the statue.
Ouka Leele, winner of the National Photography Award in 2005, has the ability to imagine with her eyes open. Her photographs translate the images she creates in her mind. This photograph shows the myth of Atalanta and Hippomenes, according to which Hippomenes fell in love with the nymph Atalanta, who boasted that she was the best hunter and the fastest and swiftest of all. She challenged her suitors to a race in which the winner would become her lover. Hippomenes achieved this feat with the help of Aphrodite and three golden apples that distracted her during the race.
In order to carry out such a major work, the collaboration of Juan Barranco, then Mayor of Madrid, was necessary. He granted her the corresponding licenses and offered her financial support for the project.
The result justifies this complex creation: rarely can we see the world from the dreamlike perspective of another person. Because to reinvent the world all you need is an awakened imagination.
Ouka Leele began her self-taught career at a very young age and with a great creative capacity that has also made her stand out as a painter and poet. This Madrid-born photographer understands photography as “visual poetry, a way of speaking without using words.” Her famous and distinctive colored images are the result of the fusion of painting and photography. Her work has been exhibited in numerous cities, and in 2005 she won Spain’s National Photography Award.