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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Sarvisalo, A Contemporary Art Hot Spot

Sarvisalo really caught my eye ! Anita and Poju Zabludowicz, are, through their collection, putting this tiny Finnish island on the map. They have been collecting art since 1994 and today, they own around 6,000 pieces by 600 young and emerging artists, with whom they collaborate on exhibitions, residencies and commissions in Sarvisalo, London and Las Vegas.

The Zabludowiczs’ homes on Sarvisalo comprise Suvinkunta, a cluster of houses and workshops acting as the hub for the residency; Herman’s, a 17th century manor house and “art barn” in the island’s main village of Härkäpää; and the Carpenter’s House, which offers further workshops and secondary buildings.

Sarvisalo

Anita Zabludowicz in front of Richard Wood’s Stone Clad Cottage (Bredvik), Sarvisalo, Finland. Picture – David Bebber

Since 2010 Zabludowicz Collection has initiated an international residency programme for invited artists on the island of Sarvisalo in Loviisa, Finland.The residency programme offers an open-ended and discursive environment for the production of art. Artists and practitioners from many disciplines spend up to a month researching and working on the island, sometimes producing works that remain in situ, or using the time to develop future projects and collaborations.

The Zabs, as insiders refer to them, occupy an unusual niche in the art world, given their focus on emerging and midcareer artists. “They really support artists before they break through,” says curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. “It’s a form of patronage.”

“Their openings attract a very young crowd that you don’t see at every other opening; there’s this informality,” says their friend Simon de Pury, the former chairman of the auction house Phillips de Pury & Company. “

Sarvisalo

Nicolas Deshayes, Keith Tyson, Caragh Thuring, Erin and Sam Falls, Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, and Olafur Eliasson 
and his daughter Alma, with Schieleren (Smears), 2010, by Franz West.

Sarvisalo

Stella Hamberg in the forest at Suvikunta, with her Berserker 1, 2007. Photography by Jason Schmidt

 

Sarvisalo

Adam McEwen’s Hare Swing, 2009. Photography by Jason Schmidt

For more Information : http://www.zabludowiczcollection.com/  &  https://vimeo.com/47161217

 

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DARK MATTER | 2ND EDITION 

Dark Matter is a joint exhibit, a collaboration between the artists Firouz Farman Farmaian and Daniel Jameson Saffe.

It is a non political answer to the dark side of society, the discovery of a hidden dark side of the masses. This is their reactions to the imperfect society we are living in today !

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Firouz Farman Farmaian

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Firouz Farman Farmaian

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Daniel Jameson Saffe

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Daniel Jameson Saffe

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The Artist + Friend

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The Artists

Espacio Lonja Vieja, Barbate Spain – With the support of  the Ayuntamiento de Barbate

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Finnish Summer Memories, Part I

I’ve been around in Finland for soon 5 weeks, visiting friends and family, but also expoloring art and design. I will be posting some of the things that I found interesting during my stay here. You will find more updates and pictures on my Instagram account, do follow me if you see the world in the same terms as me !

First out in this serie is Gösta Serlachius Contemporary Art Museum in Mänttä, Finland designed by architectural firm MX_SI. The project is a result of an international architecture competition won by a Mexico + Slovenia team, based in Barcelona. Gösta’s Pavillion is an example of European cooperation, a fantastic spirit of the global times !

 Gösta Serlachius Contemporary Art Museum

The sensitive architecture of the timber-frame extension has won awards both in Finland and abroad. The firm added vertical wooden mullions to the exterior to evoke the trunks of trees in the surrounding park. I personally love the idea of a strong connection with the surrounding landscape.

art museum Gösta

“The project is conceptualised as an abstract and dense forest,” said the architects in a statement.

art museum Gösta

The installation show ‘Blue Taxi to Paradise’

Firouz Farman FarmaianThe Nando Argüelles Art Projects Presents Firouz Farman-Farmaian‘s first exclusive installation show ‘Blue Taxi To Paradise’ in its Sotogrande Blue Marina Gallery. It is a Chromoclast approach to the color Blue, traveling through Canvas, Stone, Metal, Print and Video. It is staged as an installation favoring confrontations between mediums and dimensions, embedding it to an ongoing rapport-action-reaction to the vibrancy of solar light, the force of the four natural elements and the artist’s idea of sub-cultural post-industrial architectonics.

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Gallery

Blue detailThese kind of multi-medium art installations are rare on the Spanish coast ! It is a pure experience within the color blue, a true concept, a deep feeling well worth traveling for !

Opening April 30th 8.30 Pm, Running Through May 31st.
Blue Sotogrande Marina Shopping, nº 18, Ribera del Marlín
11310 Sotogrande, Spain.

For more information on the artist, commissions, proposals etc visit : http://www.firouzfarmanfarmaian.com

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

Melanie Millar

This is my newest found in art, even though Millar is hardly new in the art industry. I fell in love with depth and the emotion  in her work and the dreamy feeling it communicates to me.

Compared to most contemporary artists, Millar’s hope is that the viewer experiences her art as beautiful and decorative. This might bring  the “normal person” a bit closer to contemporary art. Artists can then debate on the fact if art should become more accessible or not, but this is Millar’s point of view.

“Just as there are no societies that do not speak or count, so there are none that do not embellish or make patterns.“

Melanie Millar

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melaniemillar.com

ART By Jenny Gray

“Paint is freedom and humanity to me.”

Jenny Gray is fantastic ! She does abstract oil paintings and art prints. You can easily see in her paintings that she used to work as a graphic designer before.

I particularly love her use of color and shape and her striking lines and layers. Her paintings are dynamic, vibrant and almost a bit architectural.

I hope you’ll enjoy her paintings as much as me !

OPEN GATE 24x36, oil on canvas, $1,100    OPEN GATE 24×36, oil on canvas, $1,100

Detail-No.2mw DETAIL NO. 2 48×48, oil on canvas, $3,200

Poppy-w POPPY 24″X24″ Oil on Canvas $700

pink-house-2mW PINK HOUSE 2 16X20, oil on canvas, $400

If you would like to know more about Jenny Gray you’ll find everything you need to know on her site / http://jennygrayart.com