I am Lev I am Lev “Lever” Rukhin, born into a family of artists and scientists in St. Petersburg, Russia. My father, Evgenii Rukhin was one of the leading figures in the Russian Nonconformists movement, significant for its struggle for the freedom of self-expressionism. After his mysterious death in a fire widely believed to have been started by the KGB, my family (mother and 3 siblings) fled the country and moved around the world under a ‘stateless’ status until settling in Texas. After moving to California UCLA, I circled the world on a motorcycle to compile a manuscript about the sign of the times of the changing millennia and a portrait of my parents as young artists struggling through the Soviet oppression. I now live with my 9 year old daughter in Los Angeles working as a photographer and artist, capturing the folklore of my community, and composing impressionist pieces based on context.