Untitled (Selfportrait at Home)


Triptych, c-print

156 x 105 cm (61 7/16 x 41 5/16 in.) (each)

At first sight, the triptych Untitled (Selfportrait at Home) seems grotesque and insolent. Boris Mikhailov twists his ageing body into humiliating postures, thrice immortalizing his painfully bent organism. The physical torsion enhances the curves of his wiry muscles and the thinness of his ageing skin.

This work by Mikhailov is emblematic of his artistic concerns: the representation of the naked body and self-portraits with, at times, a touch of eroticism. Having understood early on the political importance of nudity, he focuses his work on the body and the intimate sphere as a sort of counter-reality to the socialist regime. By focusing on the vulnerability of the people represented, notably himself, he questions sexuality and death.

An ironical lament on old age, Boris Mikhailov's Untitled (Selfportrait at Home) was first presented by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition Dancing With Myself at the Museum Folkwang in Essen (2016).