“My proudest work is the ‘Human’ series, which defines me as a photographer and reflects my creative vision and the profound connection I’ve built with my subjects.”
Melding Diverse Influences for a Distinctive Aesthetic
Embarking on an artistic journey as a distinguished dancer and choreographer, Toufiq Bennai passionately dedicated himself to his craft until the age of forty-five. The French birth, and of Algerian origin, artist transitioned to capturing the mesmerizing essence of dance through the lens, focusing on filming spellbinding performances and delving into the realm of photography. This evolution unfolded organically as Bennai continued to explore the boundless potential of artistic expression.
Bennai’s creative vision draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of science fiction and heroic fantasy, while also paying homage to the ingenious prowess of select haute couture designers. These eclectic influences meld together, fueling the distinctive aesthetic that permeates his oeuvre.
At the heart of Bennai’s artistic philosophy is the celebration of the human form in its most unadorned and authentic state. His works predominantly feature the artistic nude as a key motif, with dancers frequently serving as his models of choice. This conscious decision stems from the artist’s profound appreciation for the intrinsic beauty of movement, which he considers paramount in creating captivating and evocative compositions.
Championing Environmental Conservation through Art
The central motif of Toufiq Bennai’s photographic work focuses on the delicate interplay between humanity and nature. This enduring theme highlights the Moroccan artist’s unwavering dedication to promoting environmental conservation and protecting diverse ecosystems and wildlife.
For Bennai, art and photography are more than just creative outlets; they instill his life with purpose and inspiration. Each day, he is filled with gratitude for the breathtaking beauty that adorns his environment. Driven by this appreciation, he endeavors to capture these transient moments of magnificence through the powerful medium of his lens.
Envisioning an Ideal Studio and Embracing Minimalism
In an ideal work environment, Toufiq Bennai envisions a spacious and professionally-equipped studio with soaring ceilings, comfortably accommodating up to a dozen dancers. The expansive setting allows the Moroccan artist to create intricate choreographies and incorporate aerial dance elements by suspending performers in the air.
Over time, Bennai’s artistic sensibilities have evolved towards minimalism, embracing an aesthetic defined by simplicity and a reduction in ornamentation. This transformation has steered him towards indoor photography, as outdoor settings often introduce an excess of visual details that can detract from the intended focus and clarity of the composition. By transitioning to a more controlled environment, the artist can meticulously curate each aspect of the visual narrative, ensuring his subjects take center stage without being overshadowed by extraneous elements.
Celebrating the “Human” Collection and Future Ambitions
The “Human” collection, a pivotal body of work that has come to define Toufiq Bennai’s artistic identity as a photographer, stands as a source of immense pride and inspiration. This series bears witness to the Moroccan artist’s creative vision and the deep connections he has forged with his subjects.
As Bennai looks toward the future, his ambitions stretch beyond the boundaries of photography. He envisions directing a feature film delving into the mesmerizing art of movement, an idea that has gradually taken shape in his mind. Moreover, Bennai aspires to consolidate his photographic accomplishments into a breathtaking photo book, which would serve as a tangible manifestation of his artistic odyssey and the narratives he has sought to immortalize through his lens.