With clarity and an honest documentary eye, Boris Mikhailov photographs the grim reality of post-communist Eastern Europe. Mikhailov was born in the former Soviet Union city of Kharkov (now in Ukraine), and for over 30 years, he has situated his photography in the historical context of the fall of the USSR—images of everyday individuals, marginalized communities, and struggling families reflect the loss of Soviet ideals and today’s hard living conditions. Mikhailov’s subjects are pictured candidly, and despite issues of class or illness, they nevertheless convey personal narratives that range from the humorous and the joyful to the vulnerable and the devastated.
Selected solo exhibitions include those at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Photographic Museum in Helsinki, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Additionally, Mikhailov’s work has been shown at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Tate Modern in London, and the Jewish Museum in New York, among others.