Untitled#2(from the series sweeper), c-print on dibond, variable size, 2021 5+2AP

solo exibition, re.riddle, San Francisco, 2021 (online)

Link to the online exhibition: 


The act of glossing over often carries negative connotations such as obscuring, avoiding or denying unsavory truths. However, the desire to smooth over, veil or reframe reality in certain contexts can also hold value. During times of distress, to add luster or minimize one’s discordant experience can be appreciated for its gesture as a mechanism for coping with discomfort.

Glossing over can forge an intriguing route towards respite (albeit temporary) and an alleviating lightness of being. Paradoxically, it is also rife with tension and gravity beneath the veneer. The very act sets up a dialectic between self awareness, self compromise, self negation and self survival. Its tactics and characteristics have the sensations of levity, yet its structure and process are weighted and profound.

Our exhibition, Gloss Over, examines the various manifestations of this unique coping mechanism, its opacity, and the oscillating confrontations it provokes. Through play and irony, Michail Michailov’s work throws light onto that which is often left in the shadows (Dust to Dust series), suppressed or glossed over (Just Keep on Going series), concealed or swept away (Sweeper series), and disguised or made invisible (Chameleon series). Together, this body of work asks what might be the gains and losses of glossing over. What is at stake in such a complex gesture?

Text:  Candace Huey