MIKE OKAY

Mike Okay (b. 1980) lives and works in Halle and Berlin.

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.

Exhibitions with his artist collective Klub7:

COMING OFF THE WALL │Grant Exhibition 2019 │Kunststiftung Sachsen – Anhalt │ Halle
FACING REALITIES │Group Exhibition │The Art Union │Berlin
COMING OFF THE WALL │Grant Exhibition 2018 │Bethanien Art Space │ Berlin
KLUB7 – IN PROGRESS 2018 | Zweidreiraum │ Berlin
RANDOM BEAUTIES 2017 │ Beit Ha’Ir Museum │ Tel Aviv
BAD TIMES – GOOD PEOPLE 2016 | Le Mur | Paris
BERLIN ARTIST´S STATEMENTS 2015 | Centrum na Mariackiej | Katowice (Poland)
KLUB7. BEHIND THE BLOCK (Tour) 2015 | Kösk | Munich
KLUB7. BEHIND THE BLOCK (Tour) 2015 | Tapetenwerk | Leipzig
KLUB7. BEHIND THE BLOCK (Tour) 2015 | HO│ Berlin | Berlin
KLUB7 2014 | Institut für Kunst | Lehnin (Germany)
SLEEPLESS IN LYON 2013 | Galerie Lebocal | Lyon (France)
KLUB7 – IS UP TO SOMETHING 2012 | Pandemic Gallery | New York, Brooklyn
KLUB7 – EASY AS PIE 2012 | Gestalten Space | Berlin
BETTER GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT 2008 | UFO – Galerie | Halle/Saale (Germany)
KLUB7 2006 | Basementizid | Heilbronn (Germany)

Group Exhibitions

PICTOPLASMA FESTIVAL 2018 | Berlin
TRAILERPARK FESTIVAL 2016 | Copenhagen
PICTOPLASMA FESTIVAL 2016 | Berlin
WHAT A WEEKEND IS GALLERY 2016 | Urban Spree | Berlin (Germany)
GLASSHOUSE EXHIBITION 2015 | Glasshouse | Berlin
WALKIE TALKIE art project 2015 | Swinton & Grant | Madrid (Spain)
PRINT WORKS 2015 | Palanca | Zürich (Swiss)
DRAWING FOREVER 2014 | Flur 11 | Braunschweig
NO GALLERY – NO STREET ART 2013 | Urban Spree | Berlin
MUSRARAMIX FESTIVAL 2013 | The Naggar School of New Media | Jerusalem
PICTOPLASMA FESTIVAL 2013 | Freie internationale Tankstelle | Berlin
SIN FRONTERAS FESTIVAL 2012 | Cabaret Sauvage | Paris (France)
ReKollekt – 9 Jahre PARTY ARTY 2012 | Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien | Berlin
Open Art Space 2012 | Projektraum Kunst | Berlin
37MANIFESTOS! 2011 | Forum Factory | Berlin
D‘ACCORD 2011 | Neon Chocolate Gallery | Berlin
HIDDEN BEAUTY 2011 | Schellens Textilfabrik | Eindhoven
BACKPIECE EXHIBITION 2011 | Curator: KLUB7 | Ritter Butzke | Berlin
Holz 51 2010 | Neurotitan | Berlin
THE BIG DRAW / Das große Zeichnen 2009 | Langen Nacht der Museen | Gemälde-Galerie | Berlin

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