"Art is a way of life," says Morrocan artist Hassan Hajjaj.
We are all artists in our own way, and Hassan Hajjaj is definetly making art a personal story. A unique London-based artist from Morroco, Hajjaj has lived in London since the 1970s, creating exceptional and odd pieces of art that manifest into all sorts of things such as canvases, prints, and even furniture.
A school drop out that would one day transform himself into a fantastic artist, there's so much more to Hassan Hajjaj than just art.
We had a chance to interview the unique artist and talk to him about his passion, his motivation, and why he chose to venture into this field.
Talk to us about yourself.
I was born in Morocco and moved to London at the age of 14 back in the 70s. I left school at the age of 15, had no qualifications, and was unemployed for about 7 years. In this idle time, I started running underground clubs, putting musical bands together. I then opened a small urban fashion shop and I worked as an assistant stylist in promo music videos, and then started to design for my shop, 'Rap.'
Why did you choose London?
My dad moved here in the 60s for work and we joined him in the 70s.
Your work is visually striking and very impressive. What message does it convey?
Staying positive even when something is negative.
What does your work represent?
Out of all the career choices, do you think your choice was a good one?
Yes definitely, but I didn't really choose this. It happened naturally.
What motivates you?
Everything around me.
How is the feedback from people who see your art?
So far so good.
What is the role of an artist in society?
To be true to themselves.
What moves you in life?
Travel, food, art, music, film, sounds, and color.
Where do you feel your art is going?
Not really sure, but I have dreams of some places. I would love my work to be showcased at places like Brazil, New York City, Trinidad, among others. I want to share my work with people all around the Earth.
When you create your art, do you ever imagine living in it when it's done?
Sometimes I like my work as it is, but it also becomes an escape for me at that moment as I create art.
What technique do you use in making your art?
I don't really have any techniques as I didn't study art, and for this I keep all doors open and I'm truly flexible when it comes to ideas.
Do you prefer color or black and white?
I'm old school so definitely black and white but most people in my work are in color.
What kind of music do you listen to?
This is always hard – like asking someone what your favorite food is! I listen to all music, lots of 'gnawa' and 'capoeira'. At the moment, I'm listening to many types like electric jalaba, reggae, jazz, soul and many others.
What do you enjoy most about art?
Seeing my ideas come to life.
To contact Hassan Hajjaj visit www.hassan-hajjaj.com
– Adnan Al-Timimi
Images courtesy of Hassan Hajjaj