About The Protagonist Magazine
The Protagonist is a leading character, a hero, a heroine.
The Protagonist stands out from the crowd as the most prominent figure.
The Protagonist breaks records to set new ones.
The Protagonist Magazine offers in-depth articles about protagonists of stage, screen, and the art world. London-based editors Ram Shergill and Daen Palma Huse offer an insight into the world of fine art and fashion photography, illustration, and contemporary art in an eclectic mix. As a collectible hardback book, The Protagonist Magazine revives the tradition of luxury magazine publications such as The Yellow Book, which was published in the 1890s.
We are surrounded by images and illusions; right from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep. Our first sight in the morning is often our own reflection, and at times this is an image we might choose to look away from. The mirror plays an integral part in our everyday life even though we sometimes choose to ignore its existence. The third issue of The Protagonist Magazine explores the value and aesthetic of reflection(s). It looks at how photography started to be used as a visual aid in the 1880s by Edward Linley Sambourne in producing his iconic illustrations for Punch magazine. Then it takes a look through a kaleidoscopic prism lens at artist Felice Zhukov who presents herself as a doorway to a different world, enlightening us through her drawings. We can take a journey through Andrew Logan’s world, his sculpture Cosmic Egg, and take a ride on his Pegasus to galaxies and constellations far away. Talented jazz singers, James Tormé and Aubrey Logan, sing to us in their own signature style, and Zandra Rhodes’ creation for Freddie Mercury is reincarnated through a dance performance by The Royal Ballet’s Nicol Edmonds. In the second half of the magazine, Jack Irving’s pieces transcend performance and fashion, expanding in an otherworldly metamorphosis of shapes and bodies.
Present in our lives at every stage, colour has added yet another dimension. Colours can influence moods, they can be symbolic; red for love or green for envy. Filmmakers have long used coloration, saturation and tonalities to filter sequences of film to emphasise a mood, a place, or a time, be it a horror scene in cold bluish hues or a dream sequence in warming yellow tones. Bianca O’Brien describes the particular tonality used in one of the short films she was in as “Bourdin-esque,” a reference we can immediately understand. We see the ways in which Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema made use of the most beautifully soft shades of blue, amber, and red, deploying them to make his vision of antiquity come to life.
The contents of the current issue are a reflection of us, of how we feel and what we would like the world to see, be it Maya Fashion, Magic Flowers or the beautiful exploration of Artisans and Adventurers. Gülnaz Can’s fictitious interview with surrealist Hermann Bayer sets the tone with words, followed by illustrations, paintings and of course photographs, such as in Leila Zandonai – our Fashion Director, Margherita Gardella’s homage to surrealist and graphic artists, in which the body is multiplied and distorted in a never-ending sea of reflections.
We want you to set out on a journey, visualising a reflection of each protagonist’s mind, and how your perception might change slightly each time you look, reflect, and revisit.
Jack Irving– Jack Irving is more than a designer, he is an artist who uses the combination of textile with conceptual engineering to morph fashion and performance. Watching Lady Gaga in Irving’s creation, we could witness her body transform from pupa state into a fully inflated 9ft sea urchin in a matter of seconds. This collaboration for The Protagonist Magazine with Jack Irving explores how our inner feelings can be portrayed through the form and performance of our exterior.
Felicity Gilbert – In dreamy photographs, The Protagonist Magazine has paired the lush fabrics produced by the Italian company Lizzo and the beauty of actress Felicity Gilbert. Dr. Birgitta Huse explores the fashion stories that are filled with magic flowers this season in connection to the visual story.
Bianca O’Brien – The Paris based actress and creative Bianca O’Brien has ghost written a book, directed music videos and featured in numerous life performances, videos, films, award winning short films and comedy sketches. The Protagonist Magazine photographed her in exquisite couture creations by the Chinese Guo Pei.
Dovydas Kreivys – Edward Linley Sambourne was a graphic artist that lived in Victorian London at 18 Stafford Terrace in London’s South Kensington, which today can be visited. Sambourne, for most of his life, illustrated for the weekly magazine Punch, which was highly influential in the 19th century. In order to help create his cartoons, Sambourne used photography as an aid. With Dovydas Kreivys The Protagonist Magazine captured the essence of these photographs with a twist.
Editor in Chief – Ram Shergill
As an internationally acclaimed British fashion photographer Ram has worked with Amy Winehouse, Diane Kruger, Naomi Campbell, Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Redmayne and many more.
His work has been shown in various exhibitions worldwide including Sotheby’s, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Somerset House and the Whitechapel Gallery.
He is a regular contributor to international magazines including Vogue, GQ, Mode, STYLIST and has successfully published his own fashion magazine for the past eight years, now devoting his efforts to The Protagonist Magazine.
Editor – Daen Palma Huse
Daen is an editor, critic and writer specialising in the contemporary international artscape, with a focus on Exoticism, Self-Exoticism, Global Art and Political Theory. Written works include “The Fiction of ‘non-European’ Art: Exoticism and Self-Exoticism in the International Artscape”.
Daen has curated various art exhibitions, acted as contributor to exhibition publications and carried out research in the areas of photography, architecture, fashion and fine art in Europe and Latin America.
Editor at Large – Mariella Gardella
Milanese by birth, Mariella has claimed Capri as her home. She is the former managing editor of Linea Italiana and Vogue Italia. From the 1970s through the 1990s, she worked with major fashion photographers, including Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton and Norman Parkinson. She also interviewed the top names in international fashion- ranging from Diana Vreeland to Yves St. Laurent, Armani and Missoni – and design, such as Ettore Sottsass, Philip Starck and Piero Pinto.
Iconic and unique fashion journalist, it is very rare to find one like her: a true fashion inspiration. Mariella is currently working on a large special project involving the publication of her life work.
Fashion Director – Margherita Gardella
Margherita is regarded one of the most talented fashion editors in the world. She was Fashion Editor of L'Uomo Vogue, Per Lui, Grazia as well the Deputy Fashion Director for iconic Harpers&Queen.
She has worked with photographers such as Mario Testino, Deborah Turbeville, Ruven Afanador and many more.
Fashion Editor - Claudia Behnke
Claudia is fashion stylist, style consultant and art director and has worked with Squiz Hamilton, Kakan Akuf Celebi, Nicholas Routzen, Rui Aguilar, Allan Chiu and Lara Jade for magazines like Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Esquire and I-D. Her passion lies within art directing and styling short films and fashion videos as well as fashion shoots and shows. Her debut in directing fashion films was featured on Saatchi online and others were shown at London Fashion Week.
Having styled stars like Katie Melua, Boy George, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Tolula Adeyemi, Claudia is regularly involved in London Fashion Week with Marko Mitanovski, Elliot J. Frieze, Lako Bukia and Jade Kang.
Special Correspondent Social Anthropology and Mexico – Dr Birgitta Huse
Editorial Assistant and Marketing – Jeanne Rideau
Associate Features Editor and Web Design – Antoinette Alba
Antoinette has studied photography, art, design, and visual culture both in the US and London. With a passion for creative writing and all things visual, her experience includes teaching as a Lead Instructor of Web Design, guest lecturing at Richmond University on the role the media plays in body image, and working as an Editorial Intern at Dazed and Confused.
Regular Contributors –
Laura Owen, Michael Lovelock, Gulnaz Can, Emily Vanns, Anna Beketov