“My early work was all about Arab products, and when I started doing photography, I decided to bring that element into it.

These borders repeat and mimic the mosaic patterns of Morocco, and on top of that, it’s the strength of the brands—it’s easy for people to “read” so to speak, even though it’s from another culture.

It’s an entry for people into a foreign culture. The graphic nature of these products and their recognizability makes them accessible for people not familiar with North Africa.

Growing up I was really influenced by graffiti artists and graphic designers, so this was a way to bring something of my culture into my work that looks cool.

They really capture people’s attention, and from there you can look more deeply and find other things in the word”

Hassan Hajjaj shot Cardi B. for New York magazine’s November 13 issue. Photo courtesy of New York magazine.


[On being compared to Andy Warhol]

“I’ve never really said that; journalists have been saying that.

I understand why— because I’m using products like him and some similar techniques, so there’s that [visual] connection—but he wasn’t someone I particularly looked for or knew about.

I also think that [I’ve been given this title] because I’m from Morocco. Many artists from North Africa and the Middle East aren’t allowed to be their own thing, they have to be like someone from the West.

So you become secondary, but it doesn’t bother me—I find it funny more than anything.

But [the title] is really becoming more and more prevalent, it’s almost like a tattoo on my back.”



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