M I K E  O K A Y
TOY STORIES 
 
09 July to 15 August 2020

Mike Okay (b. 1980) is a German painter, born in Halle, Germany.

He has studied design at the University of Art and Design Burg Giebichenstein, in Halle.

In his work Mike Okay focuses on nostalgic moments and quotations from the childhood and youth of his generation (80’s - 90’s). He is fascinated by the inexperienced hand, like that of a child. Geometric shapes, abstract animals, balls of wool, cars in matchboxes and toys in general are recurring motifs which are formed in a very bold, carefree and informal way. His works often resemble a children’s room in disorder. 

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue has been published.

Contact us via mail if you'd like to order it.

MIKE OKAY? OKAY!

Text by Lou Philipps & Gerard Valerius

"We discovered Mike Okay a few years back when one of our friends bought a large-sized painting by him. We immediately liked the soft pastels, the childlike, the imperfect. A few brushstrokes here and there, a combination of colour fields, figures and objects, reduced to the most simple. It almost seemed like an unfinished sketch. This is exactly what gives Mike's art that "certain something" - an unmistakable painting style, shaped by the memories and icons of his childhood.

We got in touch with Mike, asked him to send us a catalogue of his work and decided to keep an eye on him, as we do with many artists whose work interests us. A year and a half later, we saw a work with neon tubes on Mike's Instagram profile and recognized an 

artist with different facets, who remained true to his style but who also constantly evolves. That's what fascinated us, that's what we were looking for. 

Many of our artists see themselves as spontaneous and dynamic painters who act "from the gut". They do not strive for perfection, but strive for expression and light-heartedness. Mike's art has emerged from the graffiti paintings of his youth. He has adopted some of the graffiti tools, such as the spray can and the airbrush technique in his painting. With this spontaneous gesture he fits perfectly into the profile of our gallery. With this exhibition we want to present an entire work series, small works, installations, but above all also large formats. Therefore we dedicate a solo show to Mike - to our astonishment his first - so that his work can be understood and loved in its entirety. Mike worked from 2019-2020 on the series "Toy Stories". When the visitor walks into the gallery to see the exhibition he jumps into a children's room of the 1980s and 1990s and can only fall into a nostalgic contemplation." 

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