Yossi Milo Gallery Announces Representation of Hassan Hajjaj

Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce representation of Hassan Hajjaj. His premiere exhibition at the gallery will open in Fall 2020, contemporaneous with the arrival in New York of his major touring career retrospective.

Hassan Hajjaj (Moroccan and British, b. 1961) is a mixed media artist who over his three-decade career has fused Western pop cultural elements with traditional Islamic aesthetics. He draws from his nonconventional training as a photographer, stylist, furniture designer and club promoter in London’s 1980s underground music scene to create visually bold, conceptually nuanced portraits. For his series My Rockstars, Hajjaj dresses the photographed subjects—artists and musician friends—in outfits with colors, patterns and shapes that evoke the vibrancy of Moroccan souks with contemporary detailing more common to east London’s hipsters or south London’s fashionable crowd. For Kesh Angels, women pose with their motorbikes in colorful hijabs and counterfeit designer djellabas in the streets of Marrakech, or are staged like comic book superheroes against woven African mats or textiles. Hajjaj’s custom frames outfitted with miniature shelves and actual consumer products extend his photo-based portraits into Pop-influenced, material investigations of cultural identity and global consumerism that celebrate everyday life and demonstrate the international nature of popular culture, fashion and music today. The uninterrupted border of commercial packaging and corporate logos also mimics with irreverent Warholian flare the repetitive motifs framing traditional Islamic mosaics.

In a recent New York Times profile, Hajjaj is visited by writer Siddhartha Mitter at his studio in Shoreditch, East London, where they discuss the artist’s coming-of-age between the UK and Morocco, his long-running projects in Marrakech where he continues to uplift the workers and artisans who keep the street economy humming, as well as Hajjaj’s travelling retrospective and major showcase of works that are “enlivened by friends, subversive wit and a hip-hop swagger.” Pan-Middle East newspaper The Daily Star’s Lisa Golden reviewed Hajjaj’s retrospective in its closing week at the M.E.P. (Paris), writing how his work “pays tribute to the masters of African studio photography” while being “riotously subversive…throwing symbols of East and West together, with identity, stereotypes, traditions and consumerism all in play.” VOGUE, The Arab Issue will open at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden in February 2020 and at Fotografiska New York in September 2020.

Works by Hajjaj are represented in the permanent collections of numerous private and public institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Farjam Collection, Dubai; Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia; Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden, Marrakech; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, among others. The artist currently lives and works between London and Marrakech.

For more information, please contact Yossi Milo at 212.414.0370 or yossi@yossimilo.com.

Image: Sarah Bikin', 2015/1436 (Gregorian/Hijri). Metallic Lambda on 3mm Dibond in a Wood Frame Sprayed with White Gloss with “Facolac” Small Car Paint Tins. 51 1/8” x 37” (130 x 94 cm). Edition of 5.