A balcony brimming with flowers for Ocaña

Performer, activist and painter, Ocaña was a key figure in one of Barcelona’s most effervescent creative periods, as the seventies morphed into the eighties amid truly radical alternative movements libertarian culture, the sexual revolution, experimental literature and theatre, progressive rock.

Born into an ordinary family in a small town in Andalusia, as a young man Ocaña moved to Barcelona, where he made his living painting houses, and before long was a well-known face on the Rambla and in Plaça Reial, then becoming the hub of a new urban counterculture.

Provocative, outrageous, funny, Ocaña’s mould-breaking performances were a proud affirmation of individuality, freedom and sexuality.

Ocaña has written his name in lights and flowers in Plaça Reial.

˝They ask me if I’m a transvestite. I am not a transvestite,

I am a theatre and my stage is the Rambla … ˝

José Pérez Ocaña (1947-1983)