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.
In 1990, Badalov mysteriously disappeared from the St. Petersburg art scene and became a legendary figure, and an inspiration and a role model for younger generations of Russian artists.
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.