Photos by BIRON: ITAY ATIAS - the sailor boy series

In February 1998, Itay ATIAS was 18 years old and fresh out of Israeli boot camp followed by a short stint of modeling for IMG in New York. I helped him get a job at Pazole, a restaurant in the Castro known less for its food than for its hunky waiters. There he worked side by side with a good looking XY magazine cover model -- the notorious Josh Puckett.

Itay spent about six months in San Francisco. Wherever he went, he made heads spin of all genders and sexual identities. He worked out regularly at a gym and supplemented his income by modeling for several California photographers including Duane Cramer, Vince Gabrielli, Steven Underhill and Martin Ryter.

The half dozen shoots Itay did with me that summer resulted in over 800 usable photographs. A six page 'Versaceboy' fashion spread was published in the December 1998 issue of XY magazine. On Janaury 5, 1999, Lindsey Kelley, Bruce Webber's producer, phoned from New York, mentioned the XY layout and asked for contact information on Itay. Our XY cover photo followed in April 2000 and was taken from the same S&M shoot used for the cover of aK magazine (Zürich, June-July 1999).

In the fall of 1998, Itay went to Europe where he modeled professionally in Paris (Têtu magazine), Munich (LM Models), Milan (Why Not Models) and reconnected with NY IMG. He appeared in print ads for major fashion retailers including Diesel, Puma, and Adidas before eventually returning to his native Israel where he continues to do print (Chaos, Andrew Scott) and TV work. He was featured in Julietta's hit music video Red Lights and recently appeared alone in a sexy TV commercial for 'New Adam' men's fragrance by Joop. So, it was no surprise when in July 2005 his name popped-up on a list of the sexiest men in Israel.  In 2006, he appeared in Season 1, Episode 1 of the Israeli TV movie "Shaim."For a look at his media coverage in Israel.

Only one photograph from this sailor boy series has previously been published. First, in blue magazine (#23, October 1999, Sydney) and republished in 2005 by the same Studio Publications in Blue Boys: 10th Anniversary -- a deluxe best of blue hardcover book. A second photo from the series has since been published in France's TETU magazine (#138, November 2008). Several of these sailor boy photos were also exhibited at the Au Bonheur du Jour Gallery in Paris from September to November both in 2008 and 2010.

Hope you enjoy viewing these photos. Of all the photos we did together, these, taken during our first shoot, were his favorites as they remain mine.    -biron

Sailor Boy Gallery

For SLIDESHOW: Upon entry, click lower 3rd button from right