Self-portrait from 1986, collage from 1992
|Born||June, 18 1959
Life and work
Babi Badalov was born as Babakhan Badalov in Lerik, a small town near the Iranian border in the Talysh region of Azerbaijan, to an Azeri father and a Talysh mother. After serving two years in the Soviet Army, he moved to Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1980, where he quickly became a leading underground artist and a member of the unofficial artists group The Association of Experimental Visual Art (TEII).  Badalov participated in numerous art shows with the group in Russia and abroad. In the late 1980s, he met artists Vadim Ovchinnikov and Timur Novikov, members of the New Artists Group, and became involved in a variety of their projects and art campaigns.
Badalov always found different ways of expressing his ideas through art objects, paintings, installations and live performances. He also tested himself on the movie set of avant-garde Russian film director Evgeniy Kondratiev. In addition to his visual explorations, Badalov experiments with words and writes obscure poetry, mixing the languages and mentalities of different cultures. Even though Russian is not his first language, he won the Pushkinskaya 10 poetry contest.
Today, Badalov continues to exhibit around the world and develop his new ideas. His latest concept was a series of ecological art objects called Dolls for Adults, where he isolated the plastic of nature inside his own clothes. He is also working on a number of visual projects dedicated to linguistic explorations, questioning how a person can become the victim of a language barrier, trying to untangle the confusion of the Cyrillic/Latin mix.
In 2007, world renowned Moscow-based art critic and curator Victor Misiano invited Badalov to take part in a number of exhibitions, where he displayed his audio-visual projects. His latest exhibitions (2010) are Manifesta 8 in Murcia/Cartagena, Spain, The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreamers in Le Plateau, Center For Contemporary Art, Paris and Lonely at the Top in MuHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp.
Brâncuși, Babi Badalov, 2007
Abramovich, Babi Badalov, 2007
Can You Hear Me, Sergey Ivanovich, Babi Badalov, 2009
Literature and poetry
I think that oxygen is an idea, because we drink it through the nose; water is matter because we drink it through the mouth. A man in a white suit will get lost in a wall, but a man in a black suit will always be surrounded by four walls.—Babi Badalov
Notes and references
- Artist's bio published by the Thessaloniki Biennale. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Jevgenij Kondratiev on YouTube (2008-07-18). Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Azerbaijani language and native Talysh language
- Victor Misiano. Ljudmila.org. Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Bush Brush Bush, Gallery ARTRA, Milan, Italy
- Babi Badalov's official website
- Babi Badalov's blog
- Babi Badalov's Visual Poetry
- Exhibition Monument to Transformation, May 2009, Prague
- В Санкт-Петербурге прошла выставка азербайджанского художника-концептуалиста Баби Бадалова
- Braziers Workshop
- Very Simple Actions without Any Particular Purpose, 2009, ARTRA gallery, Milan
- Wings of Time, Zamanin Qanadlari, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Catalog Tranzit Exhibition, Jan 22-Apr 13, New Museum
- Web page of New Museum exhibition
- Web page exhibition Easteria, Gandy gallery, 10 Mar - 9 May 2014
- Huffington Post article on exhibition in the New Museum
- Manifesta 8 web page with some of Babi's poems
- 1990: Jule Reuter, GegenKunst in Leningrad, München, ISBN 978-3781402997
- 1993: Jean-Pierre Brossard; Boris Smelov; Manoir de la ville de Martigny.; et al., Saint-Petersbourg Alter, ISBN 978-2882510525
- 2011: Bart De Baere, Europe at large: art from the former USSR, ISBN 978-9081666503
- Babi Badalov, Nuage, ISBN 978-8087259184
- 2013: The Collection as a Character, The M HKA Collection, ISBN 978-9-07282-847-7