As part of our #MARKYOURFINGERPRINT Campaign, we have selected and shortlisted artists, designers & creatives who we believe are the epitome of African excellence and creativity on the continent. Get to know a little about the artist below:
ARTIST: Hassan Hajjaj
Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hajjaj moved to London at thirteen years old and quickly connected and was heavily influenced by with the city’s club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes as well as by his North African heritage. Spending six months of the year in Morocco, Hajjaj aims to maintain a connection with his heritage and is best known for his photography and also practices filmmaking and interior design.
Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, and enjoys taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech, often wearing clothes designed by the artist (Hajjaj launched his streetwear brand R.A.P, or Real Artistic People, in 1984 as a reaction to designer labels that he felt didn’t design for people like himself). His 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.
His work appears in museums across the world including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Institut d’Islam, Paris.