The “Galileo Galilei” International Award is an exclusive prize which is conferred to artists that stand out for the recognized value of their work. Achraf Baznani was awarded that prize in the “Sala Galileo Galilei” of the Meeting Palace of Pisa (1, Giacomo Matteotti Street) in the presence of art critic Dr Salvatore Russo, art advisor Dr Francesco Saverio Russo, editor in chief Mr Sandro Serradifalco and conference interpreter Ms Carola Norcia.
The artists awarded had been selected by art critic Dr Salvatore Russo and art advisor Dr Francesco Saverio Russo, who are the creators and developers of the project. This award evokes the splendor of Pisa and the figure of the scientist Galileo Galilei. Pisa is one of the most important art towns in the World, with its famous Leaning Tower, built between 1173 and the early XIV century.
Worth to be seen are also the Cathedral, the Baptistery, “Palazzo Medici” and the famous “Piazza dei Miracoli”. Since he was a child, Galileo Galilei showed a vivid interest for art and in particular for painting, so that his pupil Vincenzo Viviani wrote about him: “If at that age he had been free to choose a profession, he would have certainly chosen to become a painter”. Galileo was acquainted with the best known painters of his time and many others took their inspiration from his work. At the same time, many artists dedicated their works to him. During the award ceremony – at the Meeting Palace of Pisa “Sala Galileo Galilei” - there was a video exhibition of the selected painting and of a photo of the artist.
Achraf Baznani was awarded the “Galileo Galilei“ International Prize consisting in a precious sculpture trophy with the artist’s name engraved on it. The statue – portraying the scientist Galileo Galilei – was created by skillful Tuscan craftmen with conglomerate of marble powder and synthetic resin and it was gilded by hand. It is a fine piece of Italian handiwork installed on a black marble basis. (height 17 centimeters). The awarded photo has been published full page in the official catalogue of the happening and a full page in the art magazine “Art International Contemporary Magazine” within an article dedicated to Galileo’s life.
Baznani got started in photography by chance. He received a Kodak Ektra compact 250 camera for his birthday as a teen. Baznani is self-taught and has never taken photography classes. He has made several short films and documentaries. These include "Walk" in 2006 and "The Forgotten" in 2007. "The Immigrant" in 2007 received several national and international awards.
Baznani is best known for being the first artist in the Arab world to publish a photo-book based on surreal imagery. Both books, Through My Lens and Inside My dreams, are surreal. Baznani places himself within his photographs of everyday objects, scenes and amusing situations.
His works were featured in various magazines worldwide like PicsArt, National Geographic, Mambo, Photo+, Amateur Photographer, Fotografe Melhor, Digital Photo magazine.
During 2014 he completed his "52 Project", a personnal mission which he committed on taking a picture every week in a row for a year.
Moroccan photographer and filmmaker Achraf Baznani carries on the traditions of Surrealism with his wild, imaginative, and wholly impractical imagery. Among his inventive scenarios, small human figures—often the artist himself—appear trapped within glass jars or the size of a camera lens; in other works, Baznani more or less dissects his body, as for example, in one, he cleanly removes his brain from his cranium, or in another, twists off his hand, much as if it were a light bulb. Imparted throughout such works are strong senses of humor and wonder, and as such, Baznani’s art offers a Surrealistic take on life experience in the digital age.