Contemporanea was founded in 1996 as an organization which promotes art through activities and culture programs in Spain and worldwide. Mario Martin Pareja and Dumia Medina are the Directors.
He has produced more than 50 exhibitions such as “Apocalypse”, with Keith Haring and Williams Burroughs; “Seguir vivo”, with Michel Houellebecq and Masbedo; “Andy Warhol, Pietro Psaier & The Factory: Pop Icons”; “USA Today: An Approach to 21st Century American Art”; “Gráfika. A Collections of Prints by the Artists of Beautiful Losers”; “Ryan McGinley. Yearbook”; “Lydia Lunch. A Retrospective”; “Gráfika. 30 Artists from Young Spain”; “Duffy. Retrospective”; “Richard Kern. Naked and Famous”, “Steve Schapiro. Retrospectiva”, “C215. Sobre todo, los objetos”, “Suite 1742. John Lennon & Yoko Ono”, “Madonna. El nacimiento de un mito” “Nirvana. 20 Años”, “From Sex To Punk”, “Duffy. Bowie Series”, among others.
As editor it has also produced books (Lydia Lunch, Michel Houellebecq, William S. Burroughs) or limited edition prints and objects (Richard Kern, Tim Biskup, C215, Miss Van, Lydia Lunch, Jim Houser, René Peña, Victor Castillo, Valeriano López, Chema López, Jacobo Castellano, Boris Hoppek, etc.).
Contemporanea also collaborates with other Museums and Art Centers in musical, spoken word and performing activities. It has worked with entities such as Centre de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona (CCCB); La Casa Encendida (Madrid); Fundación para las Artes (Valladolid); DA2-Domus Artium (Salamanca); Espai D’Art (Castellon); Es Baluard (Majorca); José Saramago Foundation, Audi Foundation Beirut, etc.
Hassan Hajjaj straddles the divide not just between countries and cultures, but art and artisans. And it’s this unique mix of perspectives and disciplines that has made him arguably Morocco’s hottest current art export.
Hajjaj’s portrait photography, shown in galleries including London’s Somerset House and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is created and framed using the products and skills of Marrakech’s artisans.
And while his real love are the everyday ‘heroes’ of the city – from friends and neighbours to gnaoua musicians and the henna artists of Djemaa el Fna – he’s also developed a celebrity following that’s seen Madonna, Cardi B and Will Smith sit for him over the past couple of years.
Hajjaj was born and grew up in the northern city of Larache before leaving Morocco for England aged 14 and quitting school a year later with no qualifications. He entered the London party scene and became a promoter turned streetwear designer, an aspect of his early career that still comes through in the exuberant colours, bold patterns and touchable textures of his work.
In 1989, he began taking photographs and at first his work was purely private. But in 1995, he returned to Marrakech for the first time in years and it was the start of his unique creative partnership with the city.
“I got back to London thinking I´d probably never go there again but something about the place kept calling me back, ‘he says. “The next thing I knew I was coming two or three times a year, but always I felt it was only because the city was inviting me. I didn’t want to be someone that came just to take, I wanted to be a part of the city, its life and its people – I wanted in some way to protect them.”
Fanti doll, clearly related in form ton the Ashanti akua ba. It has been claimed that both types of doll are Ashanti, and that the round-headed type is worn when girls is desired and the rectangular-headed type when a boy is wanted, but in fact they are the work of diferent peoples.
Jujus are a fetish piece of art for most interior designers around the globe and one of the best kept secrets and they are used as a visual attraction. Due to this fact, jujus have achieved great popularity.
Designs with juju hats provide texture to walls with an exceptional touch of glamour due to the natural feathers of birds.
Depending on the season, you can combine jujus in different areas of your house. If you wish to use them for a wall composition, you can use vivid and bright colours in summer. In winder choose neutral tones and jujus with natural feathers at any time.
You can also try with a sequence of progressive colours and include bicolour or multicoloured jujus.
The main colour of juju has to match with the colour of some decorative element found in the area. On the walls painted with dark colours you can use light and white jujus.
You can decorate the living room, entrance hall, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen or bathroom. They can also be placed outdoors (if you avoid exposure to high temperatures).
The Berber Museum is located in the former painting studio of Jaques Majorelle, and presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the oldest people in North Africa. A collection of over 600 objects (jewellery, arms, leatherwork, basketry, textiles, and carpets) was sourced throughout Morocco –from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara Desert- and attests to the richness and diversity of an ongoing, vibrant culture.
The museum was designed around its collection: sound, music photography and film transport the visitor, opening a door onto the Berber culture of Morocco
Stella Jean is an emerging Italian fashion designer, whose cultural identity often provides inspiration for her eponymous label. She collaborates with African artisans, based on the principle of increase in value, economic impact and respect for the territory, resources and traditions of the local communities who must be supported, while at the same time preserving ancestral knowledge – at risk of extinction – and opposing the debasing effect of imperialist homogenization
Her testament is how fashion, beyond aesthetics, can evolve into an instrument of counter-colonisation and become a vehicle for, and expression of, economic, social and ethical growth and enfranchisement.
The principles of an intentional, but never ostentatious, elegance are developed and expressed through sharp Italian artisanal tailoring. A mood whose uniqueness is revealed as a reflection of the designer’s personal multiculturalism, translated into the “Wax & Stripes Philosophy”, her veritable signature style.
The exotic dramatic quality of Arabic decoration is extraordinary. A means of escape from the industrialised western decoration so overly confused as to what it aims to aspire to in terms of luxury and the limitation of its resources to serialised, repetitive and angular constructions offering furnishings with laboratory materials resulting in simply pale imitations of the past.
Nature, colour, constructive sets, exquisite materials, engaging ambiences, etc. all of these attract us the decoration projected through magazines as samples of a new luxury concept.
However, is Arabic decoration truly Arabic? Contemporary Arabic culture does not offer, except on rare occasions, any of these aesthetic principles. Even its aspiration is to foolishly mock western standards adding a further over-top-touch, ostentatiousness and bad taste.
In truth that sample of an aesthetic universe based on traditional Arabic culture has been recreated by western foreigners (refined and well-to-do foreign with new horizons free from the inherent atavisms of the west).
Even the recovery of traditional trade, handicrafts and pieces form part of this trend. There is still room for many unanswered questions on philosophical, political, anthropological and religious grounds, although there is plenty of time for them to be asked. The idea has been thrust forward; Arabic decoration is in fact European decoration.
It is worthwhile underlining that this is no way conditions the enjoyment and delight we take from a truly fascinating decorative model that is destined to make us reconsider interior design in the west.
The Westwing sales club, devoted to furnishings and decorative complements for the home, offers exclusive sales of products manufactured by renowned Spanish and international brands with important discounts that can reach up to 70%.
Silvia Arenas is the Creative Director of the company in Spain and responsible for the marvellous selection of rugs, decorative accessories, furniture, complements etc. that they make available on a daily basis to style lovers.
If there is one proven recommendation we can make from the The African Blog it is the platform for on-line decoration sales Westwing Home and Living.
It was launched four years ago by Delia Fischer, former director of the magazine Elle Decor in Germany, and since then has not stopped growing thanks to its select offer.
Sales are made through campaigns that last only a few days, and each one of these has been meticulously selected by a team of experts in decoration, thus ensuring the quality of the product, its aesthetic, originality and functionality.
Furthermore, it offers an on-line magazine that compiles all of the latest trends in decoration, as well as having interviews with experts in interior design, advice, tips and reports.
It is no surprise to discover it is present in 15 countries (3 years in Spain)
The common denominator of Westwing is the quality of the top-of-the-range brand names amongst which we can find renowned names such as Calvin Klein, Laura Ashley, Becara, Sia, Smeg, Designer’s Guild, Gancedo, Rosenthal, Valentí, etc. and a select list to which The African Touch has also been added.
Sometimes you have to rub your eyes to make sure that is not an illusion what you are watching. Boulevard de la Liberte is the commercial centre of Douala (Cameroon) and is always full of an African bustle; the adjacent street leads you to the Les Floralies, a fantastic shop selling decoration, gifts and fresh flowers that can be compared to a great market in Paris.
As if that was not enough, the charming welcome of Molika Sou concludes one of the most captivating experiences.