‘I had never noticed the icon before’: the best photo taken on the phone by Ukrainian photographer Arthur Bondar | Photography

Ohen Arthur Bondar came out of the metro station near the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, he was on his way to a book fair. Besides his work as a photographer, he collects WWII negatives, and there was a catalog of works by war photographer Olga Ignatovich that he was delighted to see. It was early afternoon in Moscow, a relatively mild December day of around -5 or -10°C.

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“I was approaching Nikolskaya Street, which is usually crowded with tourists, locals and street performers – that day there was a rabbit and an angel. I was crossing a pedestrian intersection. There used to be a monastery here, dedicated to St. Nicholas, which closed in 1923 and was demolished in 1935. I had never noticed the icon on the left before.

Bondar waited a few seconds for the bunny to clear the frame, then took a few photos on his iPhone X as the angel passed through the archway. He does not usually give a title to his photographs, but has given one to this image. Born in Ukraine, Bondar moved to Russia with his wife for work ten years ago. Today, he describes himself as a man between two countries.

“I am in the country attacking my homeland in a so-called ‘special military operation’, unable to help our loved ones who are there under shellfire. You can’t even imagine this nightmare – it’s so illogical. I wonder if that could really be the reality. This photo captures the situation well – what’s real and what’s not?

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