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 Hassan Hajjaj  (1961 - )

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Lived/Active: Morocco      Known for: painting

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Biography from The Auction Room:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Hassan Hajjaj was born in Larache, Morocco in 1961 but emigrated at an early age to London, where he was captivated by the club, hip-hop and reggae scene.  A self-taught artist, Hajjaj works in an impressive array of media from photography, installation, performance, fashion-design, interior-design and furniture-making.  From the 1980’s photography became his most commonly used medium, as he photographed friends, musicians and artists from the streets of Marrakesh, often dressing them in clothes that he had designed himself.

Ablaze with the energy and charisma of contemporary street culture, Hajjaj’s work fuses western icons with symbols of his North African heritage, resulting in a style that is at once reminiscent of Andy Warhol – in his celebration of consumerist goods and labels; whilst harking to the African Studio Photography of Malick Sidibe, in the heavily posed composition of his sitters who flash their latest fashion trends with pride. 

Perhaps most importantly, Hajjaj’s work represents Arabic women in a new light, often riding scooters, dressed in colourful clothing and adopting dynamic poses – these works ignore the many confines of society and provide a window into a placeless, ageless and eclectic world where people can be who they want to be.

The artist lives and works between London, UK and Marrakech, Morocco.

Solo exhibitions:
Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York (2014)
The Third Line, Dubai (2013, 2012 and 2007)
Rose Issa Projects, London (2010)
Freies Museum, Berlin (2010)

Group exhibitions:
The Marrakesh Art Biennale
Edge of Arabia, London
Photoqua, Paris
Re-orientations at Rose Issa Projects

Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Farjam Collection, Dubai
Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris
Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia
Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA

In 2009, Hajjaj was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize for Islamic Art.

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