John-Paul Pryor is Content Director at Leading Culture Destinations. He consults and produces work for various magazines and agencies, including Dazed Media, M&C Saatchi and Flaunt (where he is currently Associate Editor). He is currently also the editor of the fashion and lifestyle bi-annual Author (published by Thames & Hudson). As the former Editorial Director at M&C Saatchi he presided over a number of experiential projects that overhauled the publishing model for brands. He has worked as an editor on books by Steidl, Rizzoli and Thames & Hudson and works across the spectrum of creative direction, editorial consultancy and art direction. He has interviewed some of the most significant cultural figures of our era and his debut novel Spectacles has been widely lauded as an avant-garde classic, drawing comparisons to the work of literary rebel Jean Genet.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I would like to have been the talking cat in The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov because he gets to cause havoc with the devil, smoke cigars and carry a machine gun. Alternatively, it would be great to hang out in The Magic Theatre in the closing chapters of Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. I also wouldn’t mind hanging out in The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, although I doubt it would be a pleasant experience.
Who inspires you and why? An artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
I’m inspired by anyone who can radically alter my perception or make a comment on society so prescient that you believe it could come to shape it – the writer Margaret Atwood is a constant inspiration.
What are your cultural aspirations? What do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I would like to be involved in a project that takes the experience of art from the preserve of the bourgeoisie and financial elite and introduce it to new audiences. I would love to send some time in both Beirut and Tibet – two places I have never been but would love to immerse myself in in my lifetime.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
Being a Londoner, I have to say London. I find Los Angeles fascinating in some ways also and spend a significant amount of time there in my role as Associate Editor at Flaunt. Marrakech is one of the places I most love for its unique culture – the feeling it has in the air that is so mystical and beautiful.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I am trying to help shape Leading Culture Destinations! I am excited about the release of the second issue of AUTHOR Magazine, which I work on as editor with its founder Oona Chanel, as I interviewed some wonderful people for the issue. I’m currently arranging an exhibition in London at Bermondsey Project Space for a US artist, but I can’t give you his name and I’m also working in the next stage of my musical project The Sirens of Titan, but again, more on that when the time is right.