American artist James Stanford, “The Modern Mandala Maker” to be a featured participant at the 20th anniversary edition of Asian Art in London 2017, November 2nd - November 11th


American artist James Stanford’s visually stunning and intricately constructed modern mandala series, Indra’s Jewels, will be premiered during Asian Art in London 2017. This event brings together over 60 of the world’s top dealers, major auction houses and museums for an annual ten-day celebration of the finest in Asian art. Visitors will converge on London for the 20th anniversary edition, which offers gallery selling exhibitions, auctions, receptions, lectures and seminars.

Stanford is delighted to be a part of this premiere showcase for contemporary and antique Asian art: ‘It is with great pleasure that I agreed to participate in this important event. I hope my work will not only be enjoyable for visitors, but will introduce them to the great diversity of Buddhist-inspired artwork being produced today.’ 

Stanford is a leading contemporary interpreter of the ancient traditions of Buddhism, drawing from historic metaphor, Chinese fable and the aesthetics of the Tibetan mandala. His conceptually complex and visually sumptuous work, in which the mandala functions as a way to contemplate both immaterial and material realities, has attracted significant interest through gallery and museum exhibitions in recent years. 

Stanford’s pictures are distinguished by a series of colourfully illuminated flickering networks and layers. He has earned a reputation for creating work that pulls apart ideas both old and new, producing colourful and mesmerising roundels and boxes of shimmering tones and patterns.

Composed of digital photos of historic Las Vegas neon signage and architectural elements from the 1950s and 1960s, and shot in the Nevada desert, the works have been artfully reconfigured using newly developed, purpose-specific technology. Stanford’s intriguing digital reconfigurations convey and respond to the potency of the mandala as a symbol, and to its influence and importance in Asian culture worldwide. His intensely beautiful and sensual images are sure to inspire awe, pleasure and contemplation. 

The exhibition and selling show will be curated by Elizabeth Herridge, art historian, author, consultant, and former Managing Director of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Las Vegas, and will take place during Asian Art in London 2017 as part of its programming. There will be an evening event to introduce the artist and his work to the participants of Asian Art in London, as well as to a select audience on Friday, 3 November at The London Library. The exhibition will be held in gallery space at 99 Kensington Church Street and will be a featured participant during the Dealer Open Evening event to be held there on Saturday, 4 November. 

A book entitled Shimmering Zen will be published by Ianthe Press, London and launched to coincide with the exhibition. It will include essays by the artist and the curator, and a foreword by Jeff Rosen, Vice President, The Higher Learning Commission, Evanston, Illinois. Rosen’s book Julia Margaret Cameron’s ‘Fancy Subjects’: Photographic allegories of Victorian identity and empire was published recently by Manchester University Press. 

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The Sensory Overload of James Stanford | Huffington Post

by Mat Gleason

James Stanford understands the allure of Las Vegas, the glamour, the dizziness, and the ecstasy of it all. He has crystallized the sensory overload that the city’s glitz creates in the mind. His abstract kaleidoscope compositions deliver the sensuous pulse of sin city. The artist performs an almost alchemical feat - he simplifies the visual language of Las Vegas and yet simultaneously amplifies it.



This feat is not an endeavor anyone else has particularly mastered. Stanford starts with the subject of Vegas. First he must find the sources that epitomize the subject in order to capture the essence. There is so much to choose from in this diverse, pulsating city. Think of all the icons, think of all the slogans. Showgirls used to be a signifier of the city. Slot machines, too. But time marches on. Sure “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is memorable, but it only encompasses part of the city’s allure. Because visual art can go beyond the literal, it must. James Stanford knows this and started out with two simple, related things that visually herald Las Vegas: the artificially colored light and the contrasts it makes.


Circus Circus

The artist bravely chooses to reduce the city and the experience of tens of millions of tourists a year into the contours of one simple element among the varied visual possibilities. This comes at great risk to the project. Throwing out so much of what we know, what we enjoy and what we seek is a denial of so much of the experience. And yet, great art reduces. The Mona Lisa isn’t smiling for any specific, acknowledged reason. By reducing the experience, Da Vinci opened up the possibilities for what might be. As such, choosing the thing to be arrived at after reducing down the elements is only the first part of the process.

Del Mar

Those lights, that multicolored orgy for the eyes - and always contrasted against stark backdrops, landscapes and architecture everywhere you look. Jame Stanford has reduced the experience of Las Vegas to just this, but now he finds a way to avoid the infinite number of ways to depict this subject. He creates a vision that is his own, but one that amplifies the simplicity of the elements with which he is working. The symbol of Vegas might be the light and design of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. But an artist must go beyond the pizzazz of good design. An artist must deliver the experience of the essay, the dizziness and the power of the feeling of the infinite that Las Vegas delivers to a plurality of its visitors.

Flamingo Hilton

It is in the eternal nature of the multiple reflection that this artist has delivered the ultimate rendering of the Vegas experience without resorting to dated design motifs. By having the light and texture of Vegas composed in a mirror image, we get the timelessness of living the dream. There is no font or date or lock us in to (or out of) an era; no, we float with all that has come before and will occur ever after on The Strip. The blissful moment of conquering that town is crystallized in these sleek masterpieces. The vision of this artist is the never ending thrill that only one city in the world can bring.