Russia Goes Steampunk

In the shadow of a Russian military plant, two artists ply their trade.

August 22, 2015

In the shadow of a Russian military plant, two artists ply their trade.

Vladimir Filonov was born in 1948. He left his job as an electronics engineer in 1991 to become a professional photographer with Moscow Magazine and has worked for The Moscow Times since 1992.

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








Vladimir Filonov was born in 1948. He left his job as an electronics engineer?in 1991 to become a professional photographer with Moscow Magazine and has worked for The Moscow Times since 1992. 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.

The Other Hundred is a unique photo-book project aimed telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be celebrated.

The Other Hundred Entrepreneurs: 100 Faces, Places, Stories — the second volume in The Other Hundred series — focuses on the world’s everyday entrepreneurs. It captures the reality that small and medium-sized businesses, rather than tech billionaires or elite MBAs, contribute the majority of the world’s jobs, including half of all jobs in Africa and two-thirds in Asia.

The book offers an alternative to the view that most successful entrepreneurs were trained at elite business schools. Here are people who have never written a formal business plan, hired an investment bank, planned an exit strategy or dreamt of a stock market floatation. Some work for themselves, others employ a few people, still others a few hundred.

The book’s 100 stories were chosen from a pool of 10,000 images shot in nearly 150 countries. The book is published by Oneworld Publications in London and is available in bookstores worldwide and online.

Takeaways

In the remnants of a Russian military plant, two artists ply their trade.

Six photos show the beautiful creative constructions of Russian artists, created in the shadow of a former military plant.