Habib Hajallie | DegreeArt.com The Original Online Art Gallery

Habib Hajallie

Habib Hajallie

Loughborough University (Fine Art , 2017)

Habib Hajallie (b.1995) is an elected member of The Royal Society of British Artists, the winner of The UK New Artist of The Year Award 2022 and was an honouree on Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 list 2023. Hajallie looks to champion figures from ethnically diverse backgrounds that have conspicuously been omitted from traditional British portraiture. Through the exploration of identity within his ballpoint pen portraits; he looks to confront socio-political issues apropos to the perception of various demographics as being of lesser human value. Specifically, with minority groups often being further marginalised by mainstream media, reflecting an archaic hierarchy of status emblematic of colonial ideologies.

Hajallie strives to rectify the historic lack of visibility of figures from ethnic minority backgrounds. Therefore, questioning preconceived notions regarding what it means to be quintessentially British, as well as the uncomfortable nuances that are associated with this, is imperative for the artist. Though born in Southeast London, his drawings are often Informed by his Sierra Leonean and Lebanese heritage. By calling upon anecdotal references to portray scenes that are occasionally quasi-surrealist representations; the drawings look to confront lingering ethnocentrisms that are still embedded within modern western society.

Using antique texts & maps as canvases enables Hajallie to pragmatically re-contextualise ephemera, creating a cohesion between the concepts informing the work and the figures he depicts. As he empowers various figures; he simultaneously does so with the ground used, presenting them within new contexts. Placing himself or family members as the subjects of my portraits evokes a sense of immediacy, apropos to navigating the intersection of his western upbringing and familial West African culture. A large proportion of my works are self portraits which are usually quasi surrealist depictions of an imagined scene. When creating a drawing that is informed by a historical context, using myself as the subject of the work brings the proximity of the themes explored to the fore - as opposed to being an obscure ambiguity from a past that we in modern society may not be able to relate to.

Specialising in the use of a monochrome medium such as the black ballpoint pen to celebrate Blackness, allows Hajallie to somewhat paradoxically, show that there is more to an individual than just the colour of their skin. He builds layers of tone with delicate mark making methods through precise strokes of the everyday ballpoint pen as he looks to celebrate authentic drawing within the digital age.

Hajallie depicts motifs that challenge largely accepted revisionist narratives apropos to West African Histories, with semblances of antiquated ideologies at the root of nuanced prejudices that he has experienced. Ultimately, the work looks to catalyse a discourse and embolden individuals that feel as though they have been labelled as the ‘other’ in any manifestation.

23 × 39 × 1 cm
  • £1,900.00
59 × 84 × 1 cm
  • £14,000.00
84 × 89 × 1 cm
35 × 27 × 1 cm
  • £3,500.00
59 × 42 × 1 cm
  • £4,750.00
11 × 15 × 1 cm
  • £350.00
29 × 34 × 1 cm
  • £3,500.00
21 × 15 × 1 cm
  • £2,500.00
84 × 120 × 1 cm
  • £25,000.00
21 × 15 × 1 cm
  • £1,250.00
42 × 30 × 0.1 cm
  • £180.00
42 × 30 × 1 cm
  • £4,000.00
42 × 30 × 0.1 cm
  • £4,000.00
21 × 15 × 0.1 cm
  • £900.00
21 × 15 × 0.1 cm
  • £115.00
59 × 42 × 0.1 cm
  • £300.00


Embracing Our Differences Florida Sat, 01/18/2020 to Sun, 04/05/2020


UK New Artist of The Year 2022 UKNA & Saatchi Gallery Winner 2022
The Drawing Society Annual Open The Drawing Society Winner 2021
Signature Art Prize 2020 Degree Art Winner 2020
Embracing Our Differences Winner 2020
Draw '19 The Drawing Society Winner 2019
Fine Art Trade Guild Winner 2016

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