Hassan Hajjaj.

Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age. Heavily influence by the club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes of London as well as by his North African heritage, Hajjaj is a self-taught and thoroughly versatile artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture made from recycled utilitarian objects from North Africa, such as upturned Coca-Cola crates as stools and aluminum cans turned into lamps. Today he plays a big part in the contemporary culture of Morocco where he’s sometimes called the country’s answer to Andy Warhol.

Hassan Hajjaj

Hassan Hajjaj

I was lucky enough to see his exhibit at the Third Line Gallery in Dubai a couple of years back and I fell in love with his visually strong images at once ! His images are bright, bold and assertive, but most importantly vital. Over New Year I was in Marrakech and I of course visited his ‘Suite 208’ exhibit at the gorgeous Mamounia Hotel. Suite 208 was taken on the hotel’s patio and in the legendary Al Mamoun suite. Here, he captures intimate moments with his friends, my friend, the Moroccan stylist Amine Bendriouich was one of them ! In these photos we find a touch of fantasy, that are nourished by numerous details that are so close to Hajjaj.

Hassan Hajaj

Exhibition Suite 208 Hotel La Mamounia

Also, if in Marrakech,don’t miss the Riad Yima. Hajjaj has turned his childhood home into a shop, tearoom and gallery for his work. There is nothing like it in Marrakech ! The Riad features his artwork, furniture design and products. Fusing East and West, his works range from witty photos of Arab life to recycled furniture made from African advertising signs. And the big secret is that apart from the very original designs, if you contact them in advance, they will make you the best couscous you will ever eat, though it’s only available on Fridays…

If in NYC, Hajjaj is also represented by on of my favorite NY galleries Taymour Granhe !

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Kiasma, Museum of contemporary art in Helsinki

Here is a selection from the art exhibition Kiasma Hits at the Kiasma museum of contemporary art in Helsinki, Finland. Kiasma Hits is a tribute to Finnish contemporary art, it is a very interesting exhibit and well worth seeing, especially for those who love art installations.

KiasmaKiasma Museum, Helsinki
KiasmaTimo Heino
kiasma Giovanni Anselmo
KiasmaAnni Rapinoja

All photos are personal