Born in Larache (Morocco) in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age.
Heavily influenced 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 reversed Coca-Cola crates, stools and aluminum cans turned into lamps. In 1984, he created his own clothing brand named « R.A.P.», which stands for Real Artistic People.
Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, often wearing clothes designed by the artist. He also portraites strangers from the streets of Marrakech. These colourful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography, pop art, and 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 part of 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.
Hassan Hajjaj lives and works between London, UK and Marrakech, Morocco.