The Wild World of Achraf Baznani


Achraf Baznani is known world-wide as a surrealist photographer that uses everyday scenes to transport viewers to a different world. His art makes you question your own reality, wondering why things are the way they are and what other meanings aspects of our lives can hold. It taps into your unconscious and exploits it to curate a specific idea or belief. Baznani isn’t of the stereotypical variety. He’s incredibly talented at what he does, and completely unique in his ideas. His art is about exploration.

“Achraf Baznani uses his inspirations to create photographs that the human mind can’t believe in, or trust.”

Perhaps what’s most interesting about Achraf Baznani’s art is his choice in subject. While most surrealist photographers and other artists set forth to challenge people on their conceived ideas about the world, this effect from Baznani’s photography and composites is merely a second benefit. His work mainly features himself. This style is indicative of a man trying to find and understand himself, and he does this by looking through a literal lens. By making himself a subject, he also is able to contribute to political and social commentary by expressing the idea instead of being a staunch example of it. He believes that taking his art seriously, and using himself as a tool to do that, has been instrumental in his success.

Throughout his photography career, this Moroccan artist has intrigued the world. Starting with only a modest Kodak Ektra 250 camera and some self-teaching, he was the first in the Arab world to publish a surreal photography photo-book, called Through My Lens and published another called Inside My Dreams. Despite being a photographer, Baznani spends most of his time behind a computer screen creating beautiful, surreal composites of multiple images. His concepts derive from experimentation and toying with new ideas. He’s been doing this since he was young, starting first with drawing before receiving the Kodak camera as a birthday gift.

Becoming hooked on photography after that, Baznani began experimenting with films and documentaries. He has released multiple images, most of which are award winning. His directorship has been renowned across the world for skillful portrayal of his subjects. However, despite finding success in the film industry, his heart was still stuck with photography.

With his photography, he uses people as his inspiration. By meeting new people and learning from strangers, he’s better able to keep inspiration alive and continually grow from it. He also credits other famous photographers, such as Robert Capa from Hungary known for “The Falling Soldier” photograph, for being of inspirational value to his work. He uses his inspirations to create photographs that the human mind can’t believe in, or trust, stating his reasoning for choosing surrealism as, “We need a break from reality.” Our mind takes a break from the world by dreaming. Baznani’s photographs transport the viewer to a dream-like world where anything is possible. He’s a magician without a wand.

Achraf Baznani was born in Marrakesh. A self-taught artist photographer, inserts himself into his own imaginative worlds to create fascinating art. He plays with scale and proportion to create mise-en-scène that are dream-like, introspective and not a little bit whimsical. His images have been lauded by art and photography lovers, hundreds of thousands of which follow him online. He loves surrealism as it is a means to disconnect from reality. His works were featured in various magazines worldwide. Baznani is best known for being the first artist in the Arab world to publish an art book based on surreal imagery. Achraf Baznani’s photography has received worldwide acclaim for a remarkably diverse array of work. He has been awarded the International Colosseo Award in Italy and the Kunst Heute Award in Germany. His work has been exhibited in Germany, USA, France, Morocco, Hungary, Ivory Coast and Portugal.