Michail Michailov is a Bulgarian-born artist, now stationed in Vienna. Using a variety of media, he positions his ‘self’ as a metaphor for existence and ego, and the pursuit of individual self-realization in a global society. Born in 1978 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Michailov studied Fine Arts at the Faculty of Visual Arts in Bulgaria from 1999 till 2004, and afterwards art history at the University of Vienna, where he graduated in 2007.
Considering that his artwork is very situation-specific, Michailov is influenced and inspired by a vast variety of things. Capturing different cultural phenomena that influence human behavior, he challenges society’s search for perfection, contrasting human relationships to environment, surroundings and situations. He uses camouflage techniques and practice in a self-deprecating way to criticize society, religion, and the art market, raising existential questions about humanity.
Michailov’s long term project entitled Cameleon, started in 2007, does not relate to specific places, but rather the situations the artist is facing unexpectedly inspire him to become part of a setting he is confronted with. The surrounding shown through his self-projection gets a meaning which differs from the original. With his Bulgarian background, he senses, perceives and uncovers social and cultural differences in this photo series, and points to confrontational situations in which people are exposed to requests such as to become part of a given surrounding and to assimilate.
Michailov has had numerous group and solo exhibitions, projects and video presentations, many of them in Vienna. He is a co-founder of the Artist Association of Austrian and Bulgarian Artists.