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.
In 2009, Hajjaj was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize for Islamic Art. His solo exhibitions have been held at The Third Line, Dubai; Rose Issa Projects, London; Freies Museum, Berlin, as well as group exhibitions such as The Marrakesh Art Biennale; Edge of Arabia, London; Photoqua, Paris; and Re-orientations at Rose Issa Projects, among others. His work is in the collections of the 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.
This is my favorite picture from the book
Kala cover sketchbook:
African wax print election fabrics
Wax als propagandamiddel
Jean-Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol Collaboration
Part of the story how Basquiat & Warhol met, I found on the website of Bruno Bischofberger:
"When I told him that I would bring Jean-Michel Basquiat for a portrait session and the usual buffet lunch at the Factory on Union Square the next day he seemed rather surprised and asked me „Do you really think that Basquiat is such an important artist?“. Warhol was not familiar with Basquiat‘s new work and told me that he remembered having met the artist on one or two occasions, on both of which Warhol had felt him to be too forward. Basquiat had been trying to get to know Warhol and had offered him his street sale art, small drawings on paper that Warhol had been very sceptical of.
Warhol photographed Basquiat with his special Polaroid portrait camera. Jean-Michel asked Warhol whether he could also take a photo of him, took some shots and then asked me to take some photos of him and Warhol together. We then wanted to go next door to have the customary cold buffet lunch. Basquiat did not want to stay and said goodbye. We had hardly finished lunch, one, at most one and half an hour later, when Basquiat‘s assistant appeared with a 150 x 150 cm (60 x 60“) work on canvas, still completely wet, a double portrait depicting Warhol and Basquiat: Andy on the left in his typical pose resting his chin on his hand, and Basquiat on the right with the wild hair that he had at the time. The painting was titled Dos Cabezas. The assistant had run the ten to fifteen blocks from Basquiat‘s studio on Crosby Street to the Factory on Union Square with the painting in his hands because it wouldn‘t fit into a taxi.
All visitors and employees at the Factory flocked around to see the painting, which was admired by all. Most astonished of all was Andy who said: “I‘m really jealous - he is faster than me.“ Soon thereafter Warhol made a portrait of Basquiat on several equally large canvases: Basquiat sporting his wild hairdo, silkscreened on the background of the „oxidation“ type, the same as the Oxidation or Piss Paintings of 1978. Basquiat subsequently painted another two portraits of Warhol. One in 1984 entitled Brown Spots, which depicts Andy as a banana, and the other in 1984-85 which shows Warhol with glasses and large white wig working out with a barbell in each hand.
Basquiat and I soon started to speak of Francesco Clemente as the third artist for the collaborations project and we decided together to invite him to join in, after having pondered Julian Schnabel as an alternative. First, of course, we wanted to know whether Warhol would agree to do the project.”
More works of the collaboration on:
Way of Life
Over 50% of the worlds population now live in urban areas, in mass, we have moved away from the countryside, away from nature, away from the wild parts of our planet.
In my work i explore the relationship we now have with nature and I highlight the imbalance that we have incurred between ourselves and the natural world. The natural world is a beautiful thing, and people must not forget that.
I am interested in the way of life of people, indigenous or not, co-existing with nature, in harmony, living off the land. Looking at man as still apart of the eco-system. Part of the food chain. It’s these people, in these places that are vital to tackling the disconnection and unhappiness within our own society.
Within my work I emphasise and challenge the issues that are facing some of these people, the animals and their environment.
Prints op kledij uit Guinnee.
Dankjewel Mamoudou en Priscilla!