GUSFORD | los angeles presents My Rock Stars: Volume 2 by Hassan Hajjaj
Hassan Hajjaj – My Rock Stars: Volume 2
Show Runs Through: January 10th – February 22th, 2014
GUSFORD | los angeles is pleased to present My Rock Stars: Volume 2, the first American solo show by Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj. The body of work produced for this exhibition is a continuation of Hajjaj’s ‘Rock Stars’ series, in which the artist portrays his close personal friends in the guise of ‘rock stars’. Taking his pop-up studio through Morocco, London and Paris, Hajjaj’s approach combines the spontaneity of street portraiture with the language of fashion photography, creating an image that simultaneously evokes urban culture and the haute couture of glossy magazines.
Draping traditional woven mats on the street, the artist outfits his subjects in colorful and quirky costumes that he has designed. Suits sewn from found fabrics and industrial food packagings are combined with bold accessories, and the resulting portraits are encased in wooden frames lined with products sourced from Moroccan markets – items such as food tins, matchbooks, pigment bottles and Arabic alphabet blocks.
Through costuming, posturing and mise en scène, Hajjaj blends African, Arabic, European and Western cultural signifiers in a vibrant fusion of contemporary globalized society. The identities of this international collection of musicians, dancers, fashion designers, capoeira masters and restauranteurs have been obscured, and these personal inspirations from Hajjaj’s life have been immortalized as his very own ‘Rock Stars’.
Hassan Hajjaj was born in Larache, Morocco in 1961, and currently lives and works between London, UK and Marrakech, Morocco. Hajjaj was the winner of the 2011 Sovereign Middle East and African Art Prize and was shortlisted for Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize in 2009. He has had solo exhibitions at The Third Line, Dubai; Rose Issa Projects, London; and ARIA Art Gallery, Florence as part of the Middle East Now Film Festival. His work was also recently exhibited at the Marrakech Biennale 4 in Morocco. Hajjaj’s video work, My Rock Stars Experimental Volume 1, 2012 was recently acquired by LACMA, and was on view in the Ahmanson Building until December 21, 2013.