Saidoff was born in Pavlovsk, Dagestan, Russia. Alexander’s family belonged to a clan which at one point ruled the mountainous region in Dagestan, but which eventually dissipated through a long series of feuds with other clans. His family abounded with artistic talent; many of its members were dancers, singers, musicians, and painters.
As a child, Alexander had no desire to follow his family’s artistic tradition, aspiring instead to become an athlete, preferably a runner. However, on a family trip to St. Petersburg, the teen-aged Alexander saw some Rembrandts and changed his mind: he wanted to be a painter. In high school, Alexander painted continuously and developed his skills at realism, occasionally playing pranks by painting a coin on a park bench, for example. Throughout college, he painted murals in people’s houses to help support himself, and upon graduation in 1989, Alexander worked painting street portraits in Russia and Ukraine. Later he moved to do the same in Italy and France, and met some American tourists who enjoyed his work and encouraged him to sell it in the United States. In 1995 Alexander was accepted into the prestigious Union of Artists in Russia, and has since participated in many city, state, and nationwide events throughout Russia. In 2003, his work began to be included in permanent museum collections in Russia, including the collection at the Presidential palace in St. Petersburg, and the Russian Academy of Fine Art in Moscow.