Djandji was born on November 8, 1986 in Alexandria, Egypt. His
childhood was highly nomadic; Djandji lived in Egypt, the United Arab
Emirates, Australia, Indonesia, and Argentina before his family
relocated to Texas, where he attended high school. He attended the
Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, studying
Painting and Illustration. Djandji moved to New York in 2009, where he
worked for a number of arts organizations, including White Box, Art in
General, and the Dia Foundation.
the weeks preceding his death, Djandji had completed the process of
becoming an American citizen. An aspiring curator, he was also working
on his first exhibition, Performance Anxiety, for Stadium, a
new Chelsea gallery with which he’d become actively involved. The
exhibition was finalized by a number of his friends, and opened on what
would have been his 25th birthday.
was killed on September 2, 2011 at approximately 8:30 pm while traveling east
on Borinquen Place, turning onto Rodney St., where he was struck by
[the driver of] a black Toyota SUV. The accident occurred near his first
apartment in Brooklyn and only blocks away from his last residence at
Roebling and Broadway. He is survived by his parents, Fadia and Selim
Djandji, younger brothers Michel and Alex, his large extended family,
and a host of friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
memorials were held in Djandji’s honor: a memorial happy hour at Trophy
Bar, his favorite bar in Williamsburg, and a formal event at Stadium
gallery. A group of Djandji’s friends made a ghost bike in his honor,
which was installed on the morning of September 11. The bike had its
front tire stolen in early November, but it has since been replaced.