Boris Mikhailov, photographer
Region: Russia and Central Asia
Artist: Boris Mikhailov (b. 1938)
Confronting Bodies: KGB; Soviet government
Dates of Action: 1960s
Description of Artwork: nude photographs of Mikhailov's wife
The 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