( 25.03.1964 - now)
is an Azerbaijani and Russian artist, gallerist and public person.
Aidan Salahova was born in 1964 in Moscow in the family of Azeri and Russian artist Tahir Salahov, who is the Vice-president of the Russian Academy of Arts, and a laureate of state awards in Russia and Azerbaijan.
In 1987 she graduated from the Moscow State Surikov Institute of Fine Arts (Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture) as an external student. Since 2000, Aidan Salahova is professor at the institute.
Since 2007, she is an Academician of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1992 she founded the Aidan Gallery in Moscow.
Salahova's works can be found in many private and state collections including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Francois Pinault Foundation, Teutloff Museum and the Boghossian Foundation; in private collections of I. Khalilov, Matan Uziel family collection, P-K. Broshe, T. Novikov, V. Nekrasov, V. Bondarenko and others. At the 2011 Venice Biennale, Salahova's name hit the headlines when her work was politically censored.
In her works, Salahova investigates gender themes, women's sexuality in the context of Islam, contrasts between the East and the West, matters of prohibition, esotericism, and beauty. She is one of the key artists on a contemporary Russian art scene working in various mediums, such as photography, sculpture, painting, and installations.
Aidan Salahova marries Eastern Islamic with Western feminist influences, combining her Azerbaijani background with her Eastern European upbringing.
Her “Persian Miniatures” series explores the feminine identity in an Islamic context.
Missing elements carry as much weight as those that are visualized. Feminine figures are delicately portrayed, with the male presence noticeably absent. The drawings are flat and their subjects anonymous, rendering them interchangeable and representational.
Her execution traces back to Persian miniatures from which the series takes its name. Her selection of this style is fitting, as Persian miniatures historically were private books, allowing artists to express themselves more freely than they would with more public wall art. Although these are typically executed in vibrant, vivid colors, Salahova's miniatures are more somber, as though carrying the strength and the weight of their subjects.
Highly semiotic, Salahova's work plays on the capability of representative imagery to represent a multitude of meanings, primary among which is women's position within established social conventions. Her symbols are far from mundane, featuring images such as the gourd, a womb-like symbol of fertility. Also recurring is the minaret symbol, representing faith and power, as well as unity given its function as the location of the call to prayer. Water, a symbol of purity and life across a number of civilizations and religions is also an expression of tears as the inner emotional sea.