Q: If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
I would like to dine with my father. I never met him. But that would certainly be a sad meal, so I prefer to dine with ALF.
Q: What song has a personal meaning to you and why?
For me, music is often a key or emotional trigger for memories or emotions. I like music that stirs up a very specific, important feeling. I like the feeling of being in sync with the interpreter because the text applies to a moment in my life. I like it when the melodies make me remember and always trigger a pleasant feeling. As a child, I like to hear Africa from Toto. I did not have any English at school so I could only get involved with the melody and the mood of the song. I still hear this song with children's ears.
Mike Okay grew up during the 1980s in the GDR, in a planned city called Halle-Neustadt which was dominated by the geometric forms of the prefabricated buildings. 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 of childhood memories.
When he works, a certain carefree feeling is of importance, 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. Geometric shapes, abstracted animals, ball of wool, matchbox cars, toys and bizarre scenarios 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. It is a childish anarchy that doesn’t hurt but makes you smile and invites you to allow the absurd.
As co-founder of the artist collective KLUB7, he has been working alongside his friends Diskorobot, Kid Cash, Otto Baum, Lowskii and Dani Daphne since 1998. Mike Okay lives in Halle and works together with his artist collective in Halle and Berlin and all over the world.
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