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Gazing Into Zen in Las Vegas | UNLV

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The Abstract Mandalas of UNLV Alumnus James Stanford Demand Close Inspection. A New Art Book Collects His Works.


Rather than seeing Las Vegas as culturally vacant, James Stanford looks around him and sees artistic opportunity.

One of the UNLV alumnus’ endeavors involves taking photographs of many of Las Vegas’ iconic neon signs and architecture and using them as the basis of new works of art.

After years of photographing such images, Stanford began using his graphic arts skills to turn those photographs into mandalas, which he describes as visual works of art that take you into higher consciousness.

He describes his work as “complex and meditative.”

He said he “opens his mind to meditation and asks the universe, ‘What is going on here?’ (The answer) seems to be revealed through my work.” > Read More

PORTALS: New Pop-up Art Exhibit Transforms Vegas Photos Into Digital Mosaics | News3LV

James Stanford PORTALS Installation

A new pop-up art installation, PORTALS, showcases an illuminated view of the complex photomontages of the valley’s landmarks and neon signs.

Artist James Stanford’s backlit lenticulars (images that appear to change as the viewer's head moves) will be on display through Monday, Jan. 31, along Charleston Boulevard and Main Street in the downtown Arts District.

Several of the pieces can be found in the vacant storefront windows on the Quivx Building, located at 1 E. Charleston Boulevard. > Read More

Source: https://news3lv.com/news/things-to-do/port...

New Illuminated PORTALS in Las Vegas Arts District

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Backlit Lenticulars of James Stanford through Jan. 31, 2019

PORTALS, a new pop-up installation in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District has created another way to view the beautiful complex photomontagesof Las Vegas landmarks and neon signs by Las Vegas-based contemporary artist James Stanford. Several of the “digital painter’s” illuminated works are exhibiting in vacant storefront windows of the historicQuivx Building at 1 E. Charleston Blvd., the arts area’s major thoroughfare for pedestrians and cars.

Combining traditional photography with innovative technology, Stanford layers original photographs to reimagine them as rich digital mosaics. His abstract style features bold colors and mesmerizing visual networks.

“The illuminated portals move with the viewer’s gaze and take on a shimmering life of their own,” said Stanford. “This installation is visible from the street during the day but is particularly impressive at night.”

Stanford’s art reflects a strong connection to his native Las Vegas, featuring resonating symbols such as the original Tropicana Hotel or iconic neon signage. He often combines image and word in highly symmetrical and amplified patterns, wherein a single piece may contain 30 or more layers.

The PORTALS works include So Fabrish Old Tropicana (54” x 54”) and Recombo Old Tropicana (54” x 54”). The popup installation follows the success of several recent Stanford exhibitions, most notably his solo show in Las Vegas and his recent showing at the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair, the premier gallery art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design in Chicago, via Melissa Morgan Fine Art of Coachella Valley in Southern California.

Stanford’s illuminated PORTALS installation will be the first of many select popup exhibitions curated by Laura Henkelof ArtCulture PRat the Quivx Building. The building, formerly known at the S2 Building, has a long art-related history through pioneering Las Vegas Strip gallerist Jack Solomon. Under Solomon, the building housed a traditional French press and was the largest dealer of high-end lithographs in North America.

According to Henkel, Quivx building owners are delighted to sponsor exhibitions in their downstairs space, and hope that a permanent art-centric tenant will occupy the space in the future. Quivx provides eDiscovery and business document solutions.

“The Quivx Building is strategically located to present dynamic art installations due to its close proximity to Radial Symmetry, a $246,000, 16’ x 16’ steel sculpture by local artist Luis Varela-Rico, on the median at Main and Commerce streets, and the Art District's multimillion dollar beautification by the City of Las Vegas designed to encourage pedestrian traffic to support the numerous art galleries, bars and restaurants, interior designers, antique and vintage stores in the area,” Henkelsaid.

PORTALS by James Stanford will be displayed through Monday, Jan. 31, 2019.

For information, Laura Henkel can be reached at 702.608.2461, laura@artculturepr.comor www.artculturepr.com.

DIANE BUSH AND JAMES STANFORD DELIVER STUNNING, HOLIDAY GIFT-WORTHY COMPILATIONS OF THEIR ART

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When I began checking out Las Vegas galleries in the mid 1990s, I didn’t make enough money to put local art on my walls. (I barely made enough to have walls.) And it was 10 years before I had a camera on my phone, 15 before I had a good one. So when I visited the library galleries or the Contemporary Arts Collective and found an appreciation for works by the likes of James Stanford or Diane Bush, I had to log them away in my memory and hope that they stayed there.

In that regard, times have changed for the better. I can now afford to invest in art. And if I want to linger over the works of Stanford or Bush, I can look at the recent books the two distinctive local artists have published. I could even give them away as gifts, as I recommend that you do.

James Stanford’s 264-page book Shimmering Zen ($60, available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon) is an outgrowth of the artist’s drive to create mandalas—geometric patterns, inspired by Stanford’s practice of Buddhism—assembled from Vegas’ neon signs both past and present. These shimmering mandalas spill out of Stanford as easily as language; his house is filled with them, and a bunch of his best works are hanging through December 8 at the Sahara West Library gallery (which is, honestly, where you should go first; the lenticular pieces alone are worth the trip.) The book presents these mandalas at the size of record sleeves, big enough to allow you to stare deeply into the details (in many of them, you can spot individual light bulbs) or for them to wash over you in a kaleidoscopic swirl. It’s like looking at maps of galaxies, with golden horseshoes and pink flamingos in place of galaxies and nebulae.

Diane Bush’s The Brits: England in the 1970s (approximately $8 plus international shipping, caferoyalbooks.com/shop/diane-bush-the-brits-england-in-the-1970s) might be a slighter read at only 28 pages, but it’s no less gripping and immediate. Comprising black-and-white photographs Bush took after emigrating to the United Kingdom in protest of the Vietnam War, The Brits is a fascinating document of a bygone street life. In some photos, you can feel the tumult of the early 1970s crowding in on the edges, drawing the air out of the frame (particularly in one shot where a chained performance artists stares defiantly at the viewer); in others, dancers waltz and men exult in pubs, reminding us that life goes on even if we’re convinced otherwise. A second volume, More Brits, will be released in December.

By the way: Bush notes thatThe Britsis now part of the permanent collection at England’s Tate galleries and at the MoMA in New York City. And Stanford debutedShimmering Zenin London. If you’re a young art collector who wants to own work of international renown, put these books on your gift lists. > Read More