Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age. Heavily influence by the club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes of London as well as by his North African heritage, Hajjaj is a self-taught and thoroughly versatile artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture made from recycled utilitarian objects from North Africa, such as upturned Coca-Cola crates as stools and aluminum cans turned into lamps.
Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech, often wearing clothes designed by the artist. These colorful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe, in an intelligent commentary on the influences of tradition in the interpretations of high and low branding and the effects of global capitalism.
Hassan's work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC; the Newark Museum, New Jersey; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Farjam Collection, Dubai; Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA, and more. The artist lives and works between London, UK and Marrakech, Morocco.
Hajjaj is a part of Africa Pop Studio at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. This exhibition explores the rich traditions and variations within African studio portraiture — from progenitors like Malick Sidibé to a new generation including Hassan Hajjaj and Omar Diop — and considers its impact on the broader diaspora.
The show will look at the power of Afro-Pop across disciplines and culminates in an evening of music, dance, spoken word, and West African fashions, on Saturday April 22.
Hassan Hajjaj in African-Print Fashion Now at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. African-Print Fashion Now introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse African dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: “popular” African-print styles created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational, and youth styles favored in Africa’s urban centers.
Hyperallergic reviews the Fowler Museum at UCLA's African Print Fashion Now! exhibition featuring Hassan Hajjaj. This exhibition chronicles the complex history of African textiles, displaying their contemporary use in the fine arts.
Hassan Hajjaj talks with Dazed about his move from Morocco to London, his choice of subjects, his wide range of influences, and what's coming next for him.
Hassan Hajjaj is a part of Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art, an upcoming exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art curated by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Opening reception will be January 27, 2017.
Hassan Hajjaj featured in 'No Commission' Art Fair in London.
Bling Bling Baby, a group exhibition featuring Hassan Hajjaj at NRW-Forum, aims to explore the emergence of bold kitsch in contemporary photography. Focusing on the narrative throughout generations of artists, Bling Bling Baby seeks to examine the evolution of the genre using each artists’ unique contribution as a looking glass.
Clash Magazine announces that Hassan Hajjaj will be reviving his R.A.P Streetwear Brand this fall.
“A streetwear brand before streetwear brands were commonplace, R.A.P was an early champion for diversity, merging fashion, music and art. Now, two decades after it shuttered, Real Artistic People is marking its return with a 12-piece collection and a stint at Dubai’s forthcoming Sole DWB festival.”
Mixmag discusses Hassan Hajjaj's re-launch of R.A.P Streetwear label at Sole DXB. Reflecting the bleak political times of 1980’s London, R.A.P was a brand marked by defiance. Hajjaj looked to past and present times as he showcases twelve unisex pieces comprising of six re-worked archive pieces as well as six new designs inspired by cultural movements of today’s NYC and London.
Artlyst highlights the Artes Mundi 7 Prize and Exhibitions at the National Museum Cardiff and Chapter Gallery.
Hassan Hajjaj named in True Africa’s list of 20 African photographers you've probably never head about (and you really should!).
Hassan Hajjaj's upcoming exhibtion, Suite 280, at La Mamounia, Marrakech, featured in The Huffington Post. The exhibition opens October 27th.
Hassan Hajjaj presents his documentary A Day In The Life of Karima: A Henna Girl, at Matatu's Festival of Stories. Hajjaj met Karima during his stereotype-shattering photography series Kesh Angels which depicts the girl biker gangs of Marakesh. Karima is a mother, wife, artist, henna artist and local icon.
Hassan Hajjaj has been invited to be a part of Zak Ové's VIP talk at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2016 in London in conjuction with Zak's Ové's Installation Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness at Somerset House. The panel will be led by Franklin Sirmans, Director, of Perez Art Museum Miami.
Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity at The Photographers' Gallery featuring Hassan Hajjaj's work selected in Artforum's London Critics' Picks.
Hassan Hajjaj's works are featured in a group show curated by Ekow Eshun, former Director of London’s ICA. Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity features portraits and street photography exploring black masculinity through the lens of a dandy-esque persona.
In the exhibit Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity, curator Ekow Eshun focuses on the history of dandyism -- from Mali's sharp-looking party goers, to the sartorial rock stars envisioned by photographer Hassan Hajjaj.
Hassan Hajjaj is a part of Made You Look a group exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery in London, UK. The exhibtion opens July 15, 2016.
"Made You Look explores dandyism as radical personal politics, a willed flamboyance that flies in the face of conventional constructions of the black masculine."
Christie's Education presents, "Panel discussion: Looking to Africa: Cultural Patronage and Artistic Legacy," on July 4th from 3:35 - 5:15PM as part of Christie's Education Conference 2016: Creating Markets, Collecting Art.
The panel will include contributions from Hassan Hajjaj (Artist) , Zoe Whiteley (Curator, Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain and Curator, International art at the Tate Modern), Touria El Glaoui (Founding Director, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair), and Maria Varnava (Director, Tiwani Contemporary, London). The panel will be convened by Koyo Kouoh (RAW Material Company, Dakar).
Hassan Hajjaj presents a solo exhibition at Colette featuring a new series of colorful portraits. The exhibition opens July 4, 2016.
Hassan Hajjaj's Ilham (2000) is part of the upcoming exhibition Making & Unmaking: An exhibition curated by Duro Olowu including painting, sculpture, photography and video that inspire Olowu’s rich and eclectic approach to pattern and textiles.
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will host Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars from May 26 - September 4, 2016. Organized by the Newark Museum, the solo exhibition includes the video installation My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1, a related series of photographs and a site specific salon installation.
Hassan Hajjaj is part of the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition opens April 20, 2016.
As the second of a two-part program, Islamic Art Now, Part 2 features approximately 31 works by artists from Iran, the Arab world, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Northwest Africa, featuring the first major installations of LACMA’s collection of contemporary art of the Middle East, including work by Hassan Hajjaj.
Tanja M. Laden of Vice reviews Hajjaj's exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum, "Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars is a colorful, confounding, but nonetheless stunning effort by the eponymous "Andy Warhol of Marrakech," an artist whose visual confluence of east and west invariably brings out the best of both."
Hassan Hajjaj's L.V. Posses (2000) will travel to the Guggenheim Bilabo as part of the ongoing exhibition, Making Africa - A Continent of Contemporary Design.
Hassan Hajjaj's recent exhibition organized by the Newark Museum, "My Rock Stars" will travel to Worcester Art Museum opening November 7th, 2015.
In celebration of the museum's 10th anniversary the Nasher Museum presents Reality of My Surroundings. The exhibition demonstrates the museum's ongoing commitment to collecting work by global artists, particularly emphasizing artists of African descent. Hassan Hajjaj's Nisrin will be part of the exhibition.
As part of Art Basel's 2015 film program, Hassan Hajjaj's first feature film 'Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl,' is making its European debut on Wednesday, June 17th, at 8:30pm followed by a Q&A with the artist.
Holland Cotter of the New York Times reviews 'A Curious Blindess' at Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University. The exhibition is on view through June 13.
Hassan Hajjaj's first feature-length film, Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl, premieres at LACMA on May 13th at 6:30 pm. The film will play in the museum's Bing Theater.
British Airways' in flight magazine, High Life, features Hassan Hajjaj's 'Kesh Angels in their May issue.
Karenna Insanally interviews Hassan Hajjaj on his upcoming documentary film, 'Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl' premeiering at LACMA, on May 13th.
My Rock Stars, Experimental, Volume 1 (2012) is featured in a curious blindness at Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in New York. Comprised of the works of 18 emerging and established artists of diverse backgrounds, the exhibition engages with the complex themes of race and identity politics.
Hajjaj's Iham, (2003-2007) is currently on display at the the Arts & Foods Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015. Curated by Germano Celant, the exhibition focuses on the world of food, dining together, and provides a worldwide overview of the interaction between aethetics and design.
Hassan Hajjaj participates in FotoFest's View from Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art; a special commission for the twelfth edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015.
Hassan Hajjaj's L.V. Posses (2000) is on view at the Vitra Design Museum as part of their ongoing exhibition, Making Africa. Following, the exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Bilbao from 23 October 2015 - 21 February 2016.
Chika Okeke-Agulu reviews Hassan Hajjaj's solo exhibition at the Newark Museum. On view through August 9, 2015.
Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East marks the first major exhibition of LACMA's collection of contemporary art of the Middle East. As the first of a two-part program, the exhibition features 25 works by artists from Iran and the Arab world, including Gang of Kesh Part 2 (2000) by Hassan Hajjaj.
Opening February 25, 2015, The Newark Museum will present Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars, including its recent acquisition of the video My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1, a related series of photographs, and an installation including objects from the museum's African Art collection.
Mental_Floss Magazine features Hassan Hajjaj's Rider (2010) on the cover as part of their "37 New Ways to See the World" issue.
Hassan Hajjaj will be featured in the upcoming The Future of Fashion is Now at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands.The Future of Fashion is Now is a sequel-exhibit to the popular 2009, The Art of Fashion show.
Hajjaj’s photograph, Saida in Green, is on view at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as part of the True to Life? New Photography of the Middle East exhibit.
Roberta Smith of the New York Times reviews Hassan Hajjaj's 'Kesh Angels, calling his work "dynamic transcultural documents."
Paul Later from Time Out New York reviews Hassan Hajjaj's 'Kesh Angels.
NPR interviews Hassan Hajjaj about the women behind his 'Kesh Angels exhibition.
Hassan Hajjaj's Miriam from his 'Kesh Angels exhibit, received a full page in The New Yorker.
Hassan Hajjaj's video installation My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1, 2012 will be on view starting 21 December 2013 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Hassan Hajjaj's three-channel video is part of an ongoing installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Hassan Hajjaj shares his playlist highlights with Modern Painters.
Tara Stevens from the Guardian discusses Hassan Hajjaj's influential work in Marrakech's thriving art scene.