The Kinetic Photographs of Russia’s Leo Bugaev

Like many creatives throughout history, Leo Bugaev wants to shake things up.


Part of Leo Bugaev's "Faces" series

Part of Leo Bugaev’s Faces series



To be a true artist, says the thirty-seven-year-old Russian photographer, is to be a “fighter and a rebel.”


Leo Bugaev, self-portrait

Leo Bugaev, self-portrait


Every creative act “is an ascent of fervor against the overall decline.”


"Statue of Liberty," Leo Bugaev

Statue of Liberty, Leo Bugaev


“My art is a private theater with few seats,” says the self-described ‘hermit.’ “Only the enlightened viewers may enter.”



"Helmsman," Leo Bugaev

Helmsman, Leo Bugaev


In his new series, The Fourth Shot, Bugaev challenges the idea that photographs need offer a clear focal point, a beginning and an end.


"The Fourth Floor," from Leo Bugaev's "The Fourth Shot" series.

The Fourth Floor, from Leo Bugaev’s “The Fourth Shot” series


Says Bugaev, who finds his greatest inspiration through philosophy, music and poetry: “If we perceive the image superficially, then it’s a frozen moment in time. But if we go further, penetrating the ordinary line of contemplation, we’ll be able to see an entirely different picture.”


"Owl," Leo Bugaev, Russia

Owl, Leo Bugaev, Russia



"Hell-bent," Leo Bugaev, Russia

Hell-bent, Leo Bugaev, Russia


“This is like a kaleidoscope creating different images,” says the artist of his work. “Like sounds flowing through the four windows, creating a stereo panorama, full of excitement and anxiety.”


"The Fourth Round," part of Leo Bugaev's "The Fourth Shot" series

The Fourth Round, part of Leo Bugaev’s “The Fourth Shot” series


Similarly, in his series, The Eye, in which Bugaev overlaps multiple images, the artist challenges the limitations of his static medium once again.


"A Planetary Horse," Leo Bugaev

A Planetary Horse, Leo Bugaev


In Bugaev’s theatre, there isn’t even necessarily a single story being told. Rather, as in real life, the dance is never-ending.


"The Noise of Rain," Leo Bugaev

The Noise of Rain, Leo Bugaev


"Minstrel," Leo Bugaev

Minstrel, Leo Bugaev


“I’ve written an abstract symphony where the musicians are forced to improvise, because their sheet music has been carried away by the wind of madness.”


"A Faulty Scarf," Leo Bugaev

A Faulty Scarf, Leo Bugaev


 "Watchmaker," Leo Bugaev

Watchmaker, Leo Bugaev


 "Briefcase," Leo Bugaev

Briefcase, Leo Bugaev



To view more of Leo Bugaev’s kinetic photographs, visit his website at:


Leo Bugaev "The Dialogue"

Leo Bugaev The Dialogue



Combustus Managing Editor | + posts

My dream: to create a unique vehicle for artists and visionaries from all genres and all over the globe to inspire and learn from one another.


  1. A. Molotkov on February 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I like the sense of humor and the surrealist spirit evident in this work. Reminds me of Francesca Woodman.

    • Combustusmanagingeditor on February 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Yes, I see Woodman too in his work, Anatoly! Yes!

  2. Marinita Urbachita on February 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I like Bugaev’s world. I like his approach. I like his practice. I like his process…

  3. martin lochner on February 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Tom Waits comes to

    Almost a complete reinvention or revolt against the new formalism and principles of dynamic photography. I respect the self-assured insolence because ‘the Russian’ is free-falling inside his own vision. It takes courage. The monochromes and image manipulation shows great skill and a refusal to apply perspective because methodology says so. I will pay good money for this work. Well done!

    • Marinita Urbachita on February 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Agree with you, martin lochner, it is well done….

    • Marinita Urbachita on February 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

      I keep insisting… because artists do not get enough support…would like to include one of these images for a project I am working on….will see….

    • Combustusmanagingeditor on February 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      So beautifully expressed, Martin. ‘Free-falling in his own vision.” Yes.

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