Russia Goes Steampunk
In the shadow of a Russian military plant, two artists ply their trade.
His photographs have won more than 100 awards at Russian and international exhibitions. He has exhibited in 29 countries at more than 500 exhibitions and his work has been published in books and periodicals.
At their workshop in Fryazino, a small town just outside Moscow that once lived off its military industry, Boris Bazhenov and Alexander Bobin are creating a small collection of industrial sculptures inspired by the steampunk movement.
Calling themselves artmechanics.com, the pair painstakingly create giant fish and other animals with inner workings made of cogs and wheels, fins that wave and jaws that rise and fall.
Their flagship model, “Fish House,” draws its inspiration from a traditional tale: “a long time ago, a gigantic fish swallowed a person. Unwilling to accept his fate he decided to turn the fish into his house,” say Boris and Alexander.
Close scrutiny of the model, made from oak, lime wood and burnished metal, reveals a chimney poking through the fish’s upper skin.
The “Battering-ram Fish” is another of their creations — a former battleship that escaped to freedom but lost much of its armor on the way, say its creators.
Boris and Alexander spend up to nine months making each of their models. They have finished four and are at work on another five. Most of their models have been sold to companies or bought by individuals as gifts.
Text and photographs by Vladimir Filonov
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