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Hassan Hajjaj – The Andy Warhol of Marrakech

“My work started because I wanted to show another side of Moroccan culture, something more than that, and the imagery that they’d understand in the same way,” 

Hassan Hajjaj, the Andy Warhol of Marrakech, has been working since the late 80s as a photographer is giving us a different look at the Moroccan culture.

Since he arrived in London at age 13, this maestro has translated his Influences on London’s hip hop, reggae, and his Moroccan heritage by producing photographs and films which conveyed the complications of his cultural identity.

Hajjaj’s first feature-length film, Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl, premiered at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in May 2015. The film takes viewers into the world of one of Hajjaj’s most iconic series, Kesh Angels.

In this iconic series, he captures the unique street culture of young female bikers in Marrakech. Meant to conflate Western perceptions of Arabic society, Hajjaj uses the language of fashion photography, to produce portraits of figures dressed in colorful North African garb.

Taking colorful and engaging portraits to combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, with the influence of Mali native artist Malick Sidibe, of friends, musicians, and artists such as Cardi B for New York magazine, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech. With strong graphic sense and over top posturing and posing. But Hajjaj suffuses the vivid color and clashing textures of the Maghreb to his work, which is also heavily influenced by the slickness of fashion shoots.

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.

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