Name: Boris Mikhailov

Date:  1951 - 1975

Location:  Russia and Central Asia



Artist: Boris Mikhailov

Confronting Bodies: KGB; Soviet government

Date of Action: 1960s

Specific Location: The Ukraine

Description of Artwork: nude photographs of Mikhailov's wife

Description of Incident: Mikhailov was fired from his engineering job when the KGB found a nude photograph he had taken of his wife. Nudity in photography was forbidden by the Soviet government. It was deemed antithetical to the goals of Soviet Realist art - to champion the honorable proletariat. The nude was only allowed in museums in Old Master paintings.

Results of Incident: Mikhailov went on photographing nudes as an act of defiance and a celebratory representation of freedom and self-expression. In 1997 he moved to Berlin.

Source: Boston ICA exhibition brochure, 2004

Submitted By: NCAC

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