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A work made of gelatin silver print with applied hand coloring.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print with applied hand coloring.




Boris Mikhailov
Ukranian, born 1938

About this artwork

To make this photograph, Boris Mikhailov instructed his friends to assume poses recalling the idealized, athletic bodies that dominated official Soviet imagery from the 1920s through the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. At first glance the work seems to celebrate Soviet physical culture, but there are a number of incongruities. For instance, in the top image, the position of the man in the foreground renders the striding youths behind him so small as to be vaguely comical. And Mikhailov used color riotously, applying it so irreverently that a stroke of green shoots into the margins. The work ultimately invites viewers to form their own inter-pretations of these figures while poking fun at the language of official representation.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Boris Mikhailov




Ukraine (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1984


Gelatin silver print with applied hand coloring


60 × 50 cm (23 5/8 × 19 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Amanda Taub Veazie Acquisition Fund; Purchased with funds provided by Robin and Sandy Stuart

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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