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.
- Boris Mikhailov
- Made 1984
- Gelatin silver print with applied hand coloring
- 60 × 50 cm
- Amanda Taub Veazie Acquisition Fund; restricted of Robin and Sandy Stuart