Hassan Hajjaj - "My Rock Stars" and "Legs"
Born in Larache, Morocco in 1961, and based between London and Marrakech, Hajjaj is a contemporary artist known as the "Andy Warhol of Marrakech." Hassan's immigration from Morocco to London in 1973, at the age of 12, had a critical impact on his evolution as an artist, thanks to London’s cosmopolitan culture, music scene, and fashion landscape. In the 90's, while assisting on a fashion shoot in Morocco, Hajjaj realized that all those involved — from models to make-up artists — were European, with his native country serving merely as an exotic backdrop. He decided then and there to photograph what he terms "my people," and to honor the culture of Morocco.
My Rock Stars is an eclectic collection of performers, whom Hajjaj celebrates through staged portraits and sculptured frames with a Moroccan-infused multiculturalism. The exhibit highlights a portrait of Hank Willis Thomas who co-founded the “For Freedoms” project with artist Eric Gottesman in 2016 as a platform for creative civic engagement in America (exhibited on The Betsy Orb in 2018 and 2019). Most recently Hassan added to this collection photographing Billie Eilish for the March 2020 cover of Vogue.
Hajjaj's work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and LACMA. In 2019 Hassan had a solo exhibit in all 4 stories of the Maison Européenne de La Photographie in Paris.