A master of many trades, Larache-born artist Hassan Hajjaj is appreciated for the way in which his work turns a distinctive and fresh eye on Moroccan culture.
Short Bio: Moroccan, b. 1961, based in London, United Kingdom. A photographer, designer, and filmmaker, Hassan Hajjaj is one of Morocco’s preeminent international artists. Entirely self-taught and influenced by a mix of London’s hip-hop and reggae scenes and his North African heritage, Hajjaj has a diverse practice that includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and furniture design.
Hajjaj’s first memories of photography are from his childhood in Morocco. His mother would occasionally dress him in clothes sent from his father in England and take the whole family to the local photography studio for a family portrait.
He is best known for his photographs and salon installations, which are a sly commentary on popular culture.
We have fallen in love with a peculiar series of portraits titled ‘My Rock Stars’ – swipe through the gallery bellow ↓
‘I wanted to show my respect to individuals who inspire me and are my personal rock stars and heroes. These are every people who are not famous but are tremendously important individuals to me. In this series, in addition to paying respect to the individuals in the photographs, I was also inspired by African studio photographers, most notably Samuel Fosso and the legendary Malick Sidibé.’ – Hassan Hajjaj for u-in-u.com
The research for this series started in Marrakech where the artists annually spends time capturing shots of people he meets: ‘from musicians to the snake charmer, henna girl, bad boy, male belly dancer … I wanted to give them a backdrop and started from there.’ – Hassan Hajjaj for The guardian
His sitters often wear clothes he has designed while standing in spaces totally covered by patterns he has chosen. We were instantly mesmerized by the energy his work has: the vibrant colors and his choice in subjects. Hajjaj believes that the design of the frame is very important as he is trying to create something that has as much of his identity as possible, something that has a fresh approach to art in Europe and Africa alike.