Babi Badalov

Babi Badalov (Azerbaijan/France, 1959) is internationally known for his ‘think-things’ or ‘alphabet-ornaments’: word-images or visual poems, reminiscent of his time as an underground poet and painter in 1980s Leningrad and interpreting the dire state of today‘s world in idiosyncratic variations on the ‘arabesque’. Its meandering, itinerant, orientalist lines stand in for Badalov himself. He says: ‘In these terrible times – with Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan totally destroyed, with the climate catastrophe and terrorism – I can’t be tolerant and polite about everything.’ Badalov calls his Instagram account, with more than 43,000 posts, ‘a very private visual diary’.