Archive for the 'magazine' Category


Art VS Porn – Israel’s gay magazine breaks all taboos

Posted by okt 10 2012

Revolutionarry, übercool, and cutting edge in many ways: that’s all what it’s takek to describe Israel’s underground gay magazine. After all not so many publisher can allow itself to promote raw, un-manipulated beauty on controversial photos, exposing naked bodies of every kind of Israeli men. Boys, bears, queens and gym bunnies are all happy to strike a pose in front of Dror Amsallem’s camera – the man behind the Bayad phenomenon.

The Bayad magazine is on the fine line of art and pornography, yet you get to sell it in museums, fancy bookstores and cinematic festivals. How did you convince everyone that naked boys and erotic novels are more on the “art” side?

Most people would probably say that art start’s to become porn when it comes to a hard penis. What I think is that it doesn’t matter if it’s erecting or not, what counts is the concept, and what the picture represents from a social point of view. We also present illustrations, poems, and interviews and all this is what pulls it more to the art side.

Israel has a history of gay magazines blossoming for a few years, and closing down. What will make Bayad’s story different?

First of all what makes it different is that it’s by me. More over: as we come out four times a year, we constantly available for our readers at the Bayad blog and the social networks. We’ll survive.

Who would you say is a typical reader of yours? Where do you get your subscribers from?

As most of our models are Israelis, our subscribers are usually men who are really into our kind of beauty. Bayad is a great way to understand and read the gay community of Tel Aviv and because of this I’d say our readers are everyone, who just love Israeli men.

I know you are celebrating every issue with a big party, and you often have a specific. How does the crowd react to the non-conventional party settings?

People are crazy about it, our parties are always very popular and as they are open for the public, they are often talked about in the city the night after… or a few nights after. The host of the event usually dresses up in rather unusual outfits: last time it was a thorn hospital gown with opened back. He had a white mask on and he was going around the bar, sharing giveaways our guests.

Who are these guys who appear in the magazine? Clearly not professional models.

Almost never. The main concept of Bayad magazine is to present regular people as they are. We don’t need them to go to the gym, remove their hair, and we don’t use airbrush. We want guys on the pictures who everyone can identify with. Boys, who could walk in front of you on the street.

You seem to promote “down to earth” beauty over manipulated and perfectionist beauty. Is this a mission of yours?

I’m working as a graphic designer, often for clients from the fashion industry and when people ask me to do everything “prettier” than the reality, I do it, but I don’t agree with it. I personally think being who you really are brings out the beauty of the people, and not photo shop.

How does your family react to your passion and profession? I’m not sure a typical Jewish mum would be happy to show this magazine to the neighbours, saying “look, my son is doing this, I’m so proud”.

They don’t really know about it… and I want to keep it that way.

What is the inspiration behind the Rosh Hashanah-photo shooting? A religious guy, naked, wearing only a yamaka, munching apples on the hills of Jerusalem…

I got a mail from this religious guy, who really wanted to be in the magazine, and I realized he was perfect for the concept. As a Jewish guy I grew up experiencing the holidays every year the very same way, so I thought: why not to show our Mitzva in a different way?

Are you aware of it that you might upset people? Do you like to provoke?

No, I don’t like to provoke. I do what I think will look interesting and beautiful. We are an underground magazine and we don’t try to please people who have “main stream” expectations. And our readers are used to it that we are shameless.

Your short movie about your grandmother’s story in the holocaust is included in the program of a documentary film festival in Berlin. Congrats and tell us about the film.

The film tells the tale of my grandmother and her brother’s childhood in Tunis, living under the Nazi regime during the World War II., interweaving the personal and historical events. We get to know the story from my grandmother’s point of view while her brother was incarcerated and forced to work in the concentration camp of Bizerte. I created it as the final project in my studies and it ended up being presented in some international film fests. It made my granny very happe… and it made me “The Grandson Of The Year”.

Subscribe here, or visit the magazine’s Facebook page. This article of mine was written for Time Out Israel’s September issue, 2012.

 

 

 

Falling Free for MDNA

Posted by márc 21 2012

Today was a big day in the history of music since it’s the first day Madonna fans had the chance to put together a much bigger picture of MDNA. Let us not forget, that as the album is coming out only on Madonna Monday – the 26th of March – we still dont’t have the full picture yet. We’ll hear these sounds much better soon and it will make us feel even more lost in the rabbit’s hole.

MDNA promo shot by Mert & Marcus

Because for me this is what MDNA is. Madonna falling down – and here comes the twist – into Wonderland. I’m not afraid to say it: Madonna’s new record is not the new Ray of Light or Confessions, it’s not even the new Erotica. It’s BETTER then ANY of these. We have here the dance queen, the weirdo, the trash princess, the spiritual godess, the bitch, the sexual icon, fighter, the broken flower, the new yorker and the londoner, the mother and the daughter on ONE album. Finally on one album we see all the Madonnas we love or hate, but most importantly we all KNOW. And not surprisingly at all, we also have TOTALLY new sounds, what in some years the fans will refer to as “The MDNA Sound.” Unquestionably incredible.

I’m lucky enough to publish some reviews in the next few days, in English I’ll write for The Wild magazine, in Hungarian (if you’re interested but you don’t speek Hungarian you can always use Google translate ) for the Marie Claire blog and in print for the EXIT, one of Hungary’s best known weekly program magazines. As I live in Tel Aviv I already have my ticket for the opening night… so stay tuned for more. And for now, the lyrics of my favorite one… a song of Madonna, The Believer. A heartbreaking poem fit into tingling, crying, whispering classical music. Written by Madonna, Willian Orbit, and a Laurie Mayer, someone who I never heard of, but I think I should. Listen to the song here on SoundCloud.

When I move a certain way
I feel an ache I’d kept at bay
A hairline break that’s taking hold
A metal that I thought was gold

And pure so sure I’d struck a vein
I wanted you to feel the same
So when you did ignite a spark
Rescue me from all this dark
See our hearts are intertwined
Then I’m free, free of mine

I’m falling free

And see our hearts are intertwined
And then I’m free, I’m free of mine
Deep and pure our hearts align
And then I’m free, I’m free of mine

When I raise a certain wing
And crawl beneath that growing thing
It throws a shadow over time
And keeps yours falling next to mine

Your days were meant to fly and do
I fall and fold mine into you
And what you take is just enough
And what you give is what I love
And when you lift you raise the sail
And then I’m free, free to fail

I’m falling free

Deep and pure our hearts align
And then I’m free, I’m free of mine
When I let loose the need to know
Then we’re both free, we’re free to go

When I lose a certain claim
That tries to know and needs to blame
Whatever river runs aground
It turns my head and washes down

The face of God that stands above
Pouring over Hope and Love
That all of might, and life, and limb
Could turn around and love again
When I let loose the need to know
Then we’re both free, free to go

I’m falling free

Deep and pure our hearts align
And then I’m free, I’m free of mine
When I let loose the need to know
Then we’re both free, we’re free to go

UPDATE: Personal milestone. After I published my review on The Wild blog, Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary shared my link on his Twitter. One of  THOSE moments… thank You. 

No war with Iran! Or at least let us die happy…

Posted by márc 15 2012

Whoever thinks that word peace could ever come from war clearly never understood the meaning of love. But Madonna’s new single (the one with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. screaming “L.U.V.”) made it’s way to changing the world as Israeli art student, Kobi Zvili (28) took the words of the pop goddess and turned it into an anti-war online regime against Israel’s planned attack of Iran. Will Madonna fans save the Middle East? 

Madonna art work by Kobi

A few days ago Madonna’s Israeli team announced it on a major press conference: the material mum is starting her world tour in Tel Aviv. While most tickets have been sold in pre-sales, not getting a ticket is not the only fear Israeli Madonna fans are now facing. Since so many artists (like the Klaxons, Pixies and Gorillaz) have cancelled their Israeli shows in the past because of government tensions, the fans are now concerned: will Madonna follow their lead? Will the show be called off in case of a possible war with Iran? Kobi Zvili asked himself this question before he created a Facebook group, where he asked Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to please not attack Iran, or if he must, at least not before the long waited Madonna concert. I met up with the super creative pop-peace activist on a sunny day in Tel Aviv to give you this exclusive interview.

First of all you are a genius. My only problem is that it’s not easy to find your site?

I know, when I created the group I really did it as a joke. I had no idea it will blow up the Internet. This is why I made the title in Hebrew, and it turns out after two hundred “likes” you can’t change the name of the group.

How did your idea became a global phenomenon?

I was just watching it happening, on the first two days it was only some friends and me, and when a friend of a friend mentioned it in a local newspaper, all the big papers and magazines started to run the story.

Did you get any reaction from anyone special? Maybe from Madonna or Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu? 

Nothing from the prime minister or the government. A few reporters approached me after it was published in New York Post and Los Angeles Times. It was even mentioned in the morning news. Madonna or her team didn’t get back to me, but I’m sure she had to hear about it. Some of my friends are pretty sure sooner or later she will give us a sign.

The international feedback was great, but naturally there always have to be some haters. What do you think about the people who think that it’s insensitive that you are not declaring that you are against the war generally, but only if it’s before the Madonna gig?

Some people took it in the wrong way, of course I am against any kind of war at any time. This is just a funny way of dealing with the sometimes not-so-funny life in the Middle East.

So did you buy your ticket already?

Of course, no question about it. I have my Golden Circle ticket. I’ve been a huge Madonna fan since Ray of Light. And as Madonna will stay in Tel Aviv for two weeks, rehearsing her show I hope she might surprise us with some unexpected appearances in some clubs as Kylie does when she is the New York City. For me Madonna is the queen, Kylie is the princess.

How about GaGa?

Honestly I think she should go on a long holiday to give us the chance to see if we’d miss her if she’d be gone. I loved the Fame Monster album and I still think Bad Romance is one of the greatest songs of pop history, but now she is just way too much.

You can join Kobi’s anti war, pro-Madonna group here. This entry was published in The Wild magazine blog.