Sergey Bugaev

From Unearthing The Music

Sergey Bugaev. Photo sourced from Discogs

Sergey "Africa" Bugaev (born 28 March 1966) is a Russian artist, active in painting, acting, music and performance and installation art.[1] As a musician, he was a member of Russian/Soviet bands Aquarium, Kino, Zvuki Mu and Pop-Mechanika and collaborated with many other artists including Valentina Goncharova.

He was born in Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea, and in the early 1980s he moved to Leningrad, where he met and became friends with leaders of the art scene there, such as the painter Timur Novikov and musician Boris Grebenshchikov. Shortly thereafter he adopted the artistic moniker "Afrika" (or "Captain Afrika" on some occasions) and began working as an artist himself.

In 1981, after moving to Moscow and meeting Sergey Kuryokhin, Bugaev joined the first Krazy Muzik Orchestra («Крези мюзик оркестра»), which later developed into the legendary Popular Mechanics band. At one of the performances, Afrika met Timur Novikov and next year he joined a newly-established art group New Painters («Новые художники»). Bugaev participated in their exhibition in 1983. [6]

In 1987 he starred as Bananan, the lead character in the avant-garde film Assa by Russian film director Sergei Solovyov. He also appeared in Sergei Debizhev's surrealistic parody film Two Captains-2 (1992) and portrayed Osip Mandelstam in a historical drama Garpastum (2005) by Alexei German Jr.

Afrika works mainly in performance and installation art. His 1993 project "Krimania" took the form of an initial performance, which involved the artist spending three weeks in a mental institution in Simferopol, Crimea, at the end of which he staged an exhibition for the patients and staff of the hospital.

The second part of the project was a major exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna (MAK), entitled "Krimania: Icons, Monuments, Mazáfaka." The work addresses the issue of collective versus individual identity of the Soviet citizen after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

In 1999 Afrika represented Russia at the 48th Venice Biennale. He currently lives and works in Saint Petersburg, Miami and New York City.

In August 2013, a group of artists from St. Petersburg (Yevgeniy Kozlov, Oleg Maslov, Inal Savchenkov, Oleg Zaika) filed lawsuits against Bugaev, accusing him of illegal possession of 25 of their works from the late 1980s. The works had been missing since the beginning of the 1990s and appeared unexpectedly in the exhibition and exhibition catalogue "ASSA. The Last Generation of the Leningrad Avant-Garde", organized by Sergei Bugaev in May and June 2013 at the state-owned Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg. [2][3]

On November 5, 2013, the Dzerzhinsky District Court in St. Petersburg ruled in favor of the artists, ordering that all but 4 of the 25 paintings be returned (those four were Savchenkov's paintings established to belong to artist Vladislav Gusevich.)[4][5]


  1. "Profile: "Stalker 3" incites debate over what qualifies as art". All Things Considered. NPR – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 2 January 2003. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  2. Rediscovered artworks spark lawsuit.The St. Petersburg Times, Published: August 14, 2013 retrieved August 25, 2013
  3. Sergei Bugayev defends position over 'missing' paintingsThe St. Petersburg Times, Published: August 24, 2013 retrieved August 25, 2013
  4. New Artists win their case against Sergey Bugaev-AfrikaBaibakov Art Projects, Published: November 6, 2013 retrieved November 13, 2013
  5. Artists won the case against Sergei Bugaev-AfricaARTinvestment.RU English, Published: November 7, 2013 retrieved November 13, 2013

Further reading

  • Solomon, Andrew (1991). The Irony Tower. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 0-394-58513-5.

External links