Born in 1980 in Halle
Lives and works in Halle and Berlin
Biography & Statement
He studies Design at the University of Art and Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle.
Mike is a co-founder of the artist collective KLUB7, and has been working alongside his friends Diskorobot, Kid Cash, Otto Baum, Lowskii and Dani Daphne since 1998.
Mike grew up during the 1980s in the GDR, in a planned city called Halle-Neustadt. His image of this part of town, in which he has spent his whole childhood, is shaped by countless concrete blocks, blooming flower beds, full clotheslines and colourful playgrounds and many childhood memories. When he works a certain feeling is of importance. It’s this carefree feeling that lets him immerse himself undistracted in a time gone by or in a certain scenario. At the heart of his work are nostalgic moments and quotes from this childhood and youth of his generation in the 80s in East Germany and in the 90s in reunified Germany. He is fascinated by childrens drawings, the untrained hand, the imperfections in the presentation, mistakes. Seriousness, correctness and perfectionism contradict a modern conception of childhood and are less interesting for Mike Okay. He wants his works to be rough and unpolished. Geometric shapes, abstracted animals, balls of wool, matchbox cars and toys are recurring motifs, which form in a very bold, carefree and informal way to a curious miniature world. His works often resemble a messy children’s room. A happy chaos prevails. All the pictorial elements are keys or rather emotional triggers for memories. And indeed, for many of the objects actual models exist in the artist’s private collection. But they are more than just a motif for memories. Through abstraction and the new interplay on the canvas they lose their original context – they are changing like memories – and open up a new narrative.
Download CV here.
Mike Okay & Martin Paaskesen
21 October 2021 - 20 November 2021
Mike Okay- Solo Show
9 July- 15 august 2021