Humorous and whimsical portraits of Moroccan characters by Abdelaziz Haounati

Abdelaziz Haounati

My inspiration comes from live scenarios and situations I am accustomed to seeing everyday.

Born in 1986, as the sixth child of ten to a poor shepherd family in southern Morocco, Haounati was raised in a small village of mud huts.
His paintings feature vibrant and energetic portraits of Moroccan personas in a figurative context.
Haounati’s subjects are filled with intense emotion, communicate through indescribable facial expressions, asymmetric body postures, and a lustrous palette of color.
Each painting features a rich and provocative scheme of shades and blends which breathes life into each work.
Strokes of brush parade through every piece and the range of vibrancy can be found in unexpected twists, turns and lines adding dramatic elements to his creations.

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To be free





La roulette d´autrefois




Hmirr l´bled




Essaouira chariot


Mini foot


Village souk





Deatail cigarette

Cigarette au détail

Jus d'orange

Jus d’orange

Charmeur de serpent

Charmeur de serpent



Artist Statement

My inspiration comes from live scenarios and situations I am accustomed to seeing everyday. I memorize these in my sub-conscience on a daily basis and playback these same moments! It’s at those subtle times, when I take a pencil and begin to sketch. The sketch is a documentation of how I have analyzed my feelings and visions in relation to the captured moments.

I am mostly interested in personages and moods, the type of thoughts and social gestures that my subject’s physical positions imply. This is my opportunity to freeze specific scenarios in time and into a context and environment that I can revive in a portrait format. This idea of mortality and the humanness of those I include in my works, is how I too, am deeply connected and moved.

When I finish my preliminary sketches I then, bring these to a scale that I feel properly represents this concept on canvas, and with oil paints. Being that one can complicate one’s own perspectives, it requires that I dig very deep into my imagination to allow various artistic outcomes.

Lines can be anywhere but not everywhere. The combination of colors can be delicate, however intense and vibrant. Nonetheless, I am up for the challenge and desire to lose myself in myself! To pretend as if I were the brush of some bigger unknown creator or someone else’s paint to be mixed and applied to canvas. In the end, I present a piece full of lines crossing and twisting into distinct shapes. Each figure harmoniously co-dependent upon the next, and playing their own roles. All lines closed, exposed and belonging to squares that I derive from cultures and traditions surrounding me. Subjects opened to the imaginary and limited by canvas.

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