Mike Okay - Toy Stories
Mike Okay (b. 1980) is a German painter, born in Halle, Germany. He lives in Halle and works in Halle and Berlin. 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. In a way his motifs generate a curious miniature world. His works often resemble a children’s room in disorder.
All pictorial elements in Mike Okay’s work are keys or rather emotional triggers for memories. Many of these toys and objects actually exist his private collection and are part of his personal « Wunderkammer ». Yet they are more than just a motif for memories. Through abstraction and the new interplay on the canvas they lose their original context - they change like memories - and open up a new narrative perspective.
When the visitor walks into the gallery to see the exhibition "Toy Stories" he jumps into a children's room of the 1980s and 1990s and can only fall into a nostalgic contemplation.