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The Former Soviet Union in the '90s, in Blue

Saturday, November 23, 2013

At Dusk, 1993 (Boris Mikhailov)

One of the leading photographers of the former Soviet Union is showing 40 years of work in New York City.

Boris Mikhailov's retrospective is at the Dominique Levi gallery on the Upper East Side.

The show features about 60 pictures, most of them taken from 1991 to 1993 on the streets of Kharkov, Ukraine, where Mikhailov grew up. In this interview, he told us that each picture is blue because he associates the color with his memories of growing up during World War II.

"I remember how my mother give me...we go to the streets, and it was dark time, blue sky, and it was airplane and some bomb and bam, bam, and this was what I remember about blue," he said.

Jessica Dawson, an art critic who writes for Art in America and the Daily Beast, said in this interview that the most important thing about Mikhailov's work is the historical moment it documents.

"The human suffering, the poverty, of post soviet Russia. And this moment is perhaps the most significant part of the work rather than each individual image," she said.

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