Originally from Khakov in the Ukraine, Mikhailov moved to Berlin in 1996 leading to the development of his signature shots of the edges of society around the city. On February 24 Mikhailov’s first major retrospective in Germany will open at the Berlinische Gallery.
In his latest body of work, Mikhailov addresses this shift by focusing on his hometown of Charkow, in the north east of the Ukraine. Here, the consumerist invasion of western capitalism is everywhere apparent in huge, colorful advertising banners and billboards, but the promises of the so-called Orange Revolution seem to have been fulfilled for only a few. Mikhailov writes that "only when one sees misery in a picture, does one begin to notice it in the street," he takes pains to neither dramatize nor ameliorate the conditions of life in Charkow; and so his tough-minded pictures present a bleak but rigorously honest portrait of the Ukraine and its inhabitants.Boris Mikhailov, The Book: Tea Coffee Capuccino