Painkillers – Annika Nuttall Gallery (DK) March 2022

The actual painkiller and the illusion of painkillers – that is what we meet in this fantastic duo exhibition with new works by Toninho Dingl and Mike Okay. Thank God for the painkillers, both the medicine and our imagination. These two artists show us both the photorealistic caption of today, but also the humoristic view of ourselves. Both of them work in the field of pop art culture and make us think about painkillers in a more clear way.

To Toninho Dingl the antidote to aesthetics, which can be understood as the entrance hall of experience, is anesthesia. The anesthetic makes everything deaf and dumb. Further Dingl points out that one could claim that the antagonist to the artist is the anesthetist. The anesthetist should numb the pain, i.e. temporarily close the entrance hall of sensations so that the body does not see a resonance relationship with the environment. You are dead for a short time or only dead where the local anesthetic works. Therefore, this painting forms a contradiction between these two poles and it is resolved in a dented dialectic characterized by im- and expressions. A distant thought that crosses Dingl’s mind with this work is how to deal with pain: the pharmaceutical industry tries to internalize or silence the pain. The medical procedure, on the other hand, addresses or plays with the alienation of pain.

And the same goes for the humoristic works by Mike Okay; these give us a funny ha-ha-feeling looking at them, and we no longer feel pain. We see these images like we saw them as a child, feeling all right and forgetting all the bad things happening in the world around us. We are in a “fanta“-morgana illusion. Trying to enter a dialogue with ourselves. To Okay the works are like a mirror in which he can observe himself. The carefree feeling that appears when making the artworks helps Okay to understand that an adult life also allows one to be childish, carefree and curious. Your fantasy and imagination can always get you back on track.

Therefore: Thank you painkillers – both in the realistic sense of pill blisters, but also in the imaginary sense of humoristic figurative painting.