After working with American photographer and filmmaker William Klein, Bustamante held his first exhibition in 1982 and met the sculptor Bazile. They collaborated for three years, which lead Bustamante to experiment with other media. He advocates a reciprocal relationship between artist and spectator, in which both parties engage in the aesthetic definition of a piece. He rejects notions of documentary and fixed aesthetics, relying instead on the fluid and meditative nature of art. Bustamante is internationally acclaimed; his work has been exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Jeu de Paume, and the Documenta. In 2003, Bustamante represented France at the 50th Venice Biennial.