Here’s a unique take on the vibrant street culture of Morocco while paying tribute to the biker culture of the young women motorcyclists of Marrakesh in a series of photographs, limited edition objects, an installation, and a video. New York’s Taymour Grahne Gallery is proud to present ‘Kesh Angels, a solo exhibition of work by the Moroccan-born, UK-based artist, Hassan Hajjaj.
Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York.Hassan Hajjaj’s series “ ’Kesh Angels.” Hajjaj, who is fifty-three, was born in Morocco and moved to London in his teens, where he worked as a DJ, a promoter, a stylist, and a designer. Before taking up photography, in his late twenties, Hajjaj returned to Morocco to work as an assistant on a photography shoot for a fashion magazine. He says that he was frustrated to see his native country used only as a backdrop for Western women and clothing, and that the experience pushed him to make Morocco a prominent subject in his own work.
Hajjaj’s Work Plays with and Upends Stereotypes
Hajjaj’s work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of branding. His confident, upbeat portraits of young women wearing veils and djellabah 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.
Hajjaj was the winner of the 2011 Sovereign Middle East and Africa Prize, and was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize for Islamic Art in 2009. His solo exhibitions have been held at The Third Line, Dubai; Rose Issa Projects, London; Freies Museum, Berlin, as well as group exhibitions such as The Marrakesh Art Biennale; Edge of Arabia, London; Photoqua, Paris; and Re-orientations at Rose Issa Projects, among others. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Farjam Collection, Dubai; Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA, and more. The artist lives and works between London, UK and Marrakesh, Morocco.
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