Using portraiture (photography and video), installation, sculpture, and performance, Hajjaj aims to seduce the viewer whist confronting culture-specific beliefs and values. His multi-layered works fuse traditional and contemporary North African culture with familiar Western imagery and iconography through appropriation and adaption. His artworks reflect his neo-nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers. Hajjaj is perhaps best known for his colourful portraits, including the Kesh’s Angels series, from which there will be several new works in the exhibition. Blending the glossy aesthetic of a fashion shoot with Moroccan tradition and street culture, these witty and poignant images, although outwardly light-hearted, challenge Western perceptions of the hijab and female disempowerment.
Hajjaj’s selected solo shows include: Hassan Hajjaj, Masion Marocaine de La Photographie, Paris (2019); Hassan Hajjaj: The Path, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK (2019);La Salle de Gym des Femmes Arabes, Al Riwaq Art Space, Adliya, Bahrain (2017); La Caravane, Somerset House, London, UK (2017); La Salle de Gym des Femmes Arabes, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2016); Hassan Hajjaj, My Rock Stars Experimental, Vol.1, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA (2015); Kesh Angels, Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, USA (2014); My Rock Stars: Volume 2, Gusford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2014); My Rock Stars: Volume 1, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, USA (2014, travelled from The Third Line, Dubai, and Virginia Commonwealth University, USA); Kesh Angels, Rose Issa Projects, London (2010); Fashion in Motion, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2005).
Hajjaj’s work has been exhibited internationally. Selected exhibitions include: Get Up, Stand Up Now, Somerset House, London (2019); African Metropolis: An Imaginary City, Maxxi National Museum, Rome, Italy (2018); National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, Melbourne, Australia (2017); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2017); Treasures of Islam in Africa. From Timbuktu to Zanzibar, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2017); Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton Museum, UK (2016); Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA (2015); True to Life? New Photography from the Middle East, Birmingham of Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2014); Light from the Middle East, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2013); We are not Witches, Saatchi Gallery, London (2010); Africa Remix, Hayward Gallery, London (2005) and Contemporary African Visual Arts, British Museum, London (2005).
Hassan Hajjaj’s works are in the collections of the Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi, UAE; MAXXI National Museum, Rome; Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakesh, Morocco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Brooklyn Museum, New York; Newark Museum, New Jersey; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and The British Museum, London.