Moroccan-born, photographer Hassan Hajjaj is currently exhibiting his collection ‘Kesh Angels’ at the Taymour Grahne gallery in New York City. The collection showcases the vibrant street culture of girl bikers gangs in Marrakech.
‘Hajjaj’s work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of branding, and the familiarity of everyday objects, applying a ‘street-wise’ approach to his layering of influences, items, and cultural signifiers to imbue the work with an electrifying tension. His confident, upbeat portraits of young women wearing veils anddjellabah while posing on motorcycles subvert preconceived notions of Arab women; his subjects are traditionally clad but defiantly modern, bearing bright smiles and the markers of youth, independence, celebration and fun. As Kelly Carmichael writes in her 2010 essay in Contemporary Practices, “Hajjaj’s approach is to toy with the perceptions of Arabic culture and the relationship between East and West, recasting iconic images and allowing shafts of 21stcentury light to reenergize the encounter… [while] his practice on inclusion and contrast rarely offers just one aesthetic of theoretical opinion.”’
Self taught photographer Hassan Hajjaj, was born in Morocco and raised in London. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Sovereign Middle East and Africa Prize. In 2009, he was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize for Islamic Art. Hajjaj’s work shows that he is heavily influenced by the London hip-hop culture and his North African heritage.