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Aidan Salakhova

Aidan Salakhova, known as Aidan, is interested in the often contradictory meanings around cultural and religious symbols which she deconstructs in her sculptures, paintings, photographs and videos. Her dual heritage as Azeri and Russian is reflected in these works which maintain an exquisite tension between the sacred and profane, ancient and modern, oriental and western. Aidan came to prominence amid the collapse of the USSR and gained a reputation for her provocative use of explicit imagery and breaching of taboos. Aidan challenges centuries of female subjugation and objectification in her bold celebrations of the feminine. For the past decade, she has explored the multifaceted nature of the veil: portrayed in sensual, sleek marble and granite, it is equally a symbol of religious oppression and an enabler of female erotic pleasure. Her recent sculptures in Carrara marble demonstrate a shift towards harmony of the sexes, embracing the male and female nude.

Born in 1964, Aidan studied at the Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute and founded Aidan Gallery in Moscow. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at The Saatchi Gallery, UK, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia and the Moderna Museet, Sweden. She participated in the Venice Biennale (1990 and 2011) and in the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2007). Aidan’s works can be found in private and public collections globally including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the MMoMA, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Francois Pinault Foundation, Teutloff Museum and the Boghossian Foundation. Aidan is based between Moscow and Carrara, Italy.