This relates to my large objects work. Interesting interview.
A small man in the big world: interview with Achraf Baznani
When Jonathan Swift published his world famous novel “Gulliver’s Travels” in 1726 he probably didn’t know that someday it would become a reality… Well, at least in the photographic world. Achraf Baznani, based in Morocco, is a self-taught photographer who creates surrealistic self-portraits. As a small person in his artwork, he can walk on dining tables, and discover and interact with unusually large everyday items such as books and tea cups. Achraf first started creating short documentaries like “On”, “The Forgotten”, and “Immigrant” which earned him several national and international awards. Now, he is also the photographer who shows the world from a surrealistic angle. I have chosen to reflect one side of his portfolio: his minimalistic self-portraits. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m personally a big fan of surrealistic artworks. When did you find yourself in the realm surrealism and its art?
Photography has more than one source of learning, which ones are looked at depends on the person himself. Personally, I am a big fan of the Hungarian photographer “Robert Capa” and his immortal work, “The falling solder “. This shot is one of the most important images of war in the twentieth century. That’s exactly what made me experiment with surreal and fantasy art, and creating images that the human mind doesn’t accept.
Why do you think we need surrealism in this world?
I think because we need a break from reality. Surrealism takes us from the real world to a dreaming one. We can recreate and share our dreams or surrealist ideas in real life through photography.
How was your idea to take your personal portraits in such a creative way conceived?
For my works there are a variety of ways a concept falls into place. Most often it starts with a spark of inspiration and grows from there; whether it is a person, design, story that needs to be told… regardless, it all starts with a single point. From there it becomes simple problem solving. I don’t spend very much time looking at what other people are doing. I like to stay aware and connected to what others are doing by following sites such as Flickr but beyond that, I spend the rest of my time meeting people, creating, and really just living life. I think the best way to be inspired is not to just try to emulate others, but to find what inspires you in life and trying to capture and share it.
You use a lot of items from your home to create your small world and put yourself in it. Is it hard for you to be inspired by the same things and environment?
I can easily find ideas and use the same objects to design my work. Using the same objects across multiple works is not appreciated by everyone and that’s why I like it; it is the sense of creativity.
Are you going to try anything different in terms of photography?
I love macro photography. What I love most about macro photography is the surprise elements that always pop out. Those surprises are fine details that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but which emerge clearly when the photo is enlarged. What is so tempting about macro photography and photographing insects that the photographer can spend hours behind a small creature to get an impossible shot. It’s the beautiful patterns, or I should say the designs, that the insects are gifted with and we are not.
What is your biggest dream related to art?
Ever since I started photography, it has always been a dream to have my photographs printed up large and posted on the wall. Exhibiting my artwork is my biggest dream.
What would be your advice to beginners who would like to experiment with surrealism through photography?
It’s never easy to succeed and sustain going pro and freelance in the beginning. I know people who can take anywhere between 6 months to countless years… it will take dedication and luck, but hard work and perseverance is the key. Never give up, no matter how hard it is. Nothing is impossible.
Text edited by Melissa Searle