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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, 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

Anthony James + Marc Dennis + James Stanford | Melissa Morgan Fine Art


Contemporary digital artist James Stanford is to exhibit in a Melissa Morgan Fine Art group show alongside artists

Anthony James and Marc Dennis.

Nevada-based ‘digital painter’ James Stanford is known for his complex digital collages of Las Vegas landmarks and neon signs. Combining traditional photography with innovative digital technology, he layers original photographs to reimagine them as rich and enticing digital mosaics. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, Stanford’s abstract aesthetic features bold colours and mesmerising visual networks.

Stanford’s works reflect a strong connection to his native Las Vegas, featuring resonating symbols like the Old Tropicana hotel or iconic neon signage. His works often combine image and word in highly symmetrical and amplified patterns, wherein a single piece may contain 30 or more layers.

Stanford is concerned with transformative possibilities and artistic expressions of spirituality. For Stanford, his artistic process is akin to meditation. Drawing on the ancient traditions of Buddhism, he conceives of his montages as “modern mandalas” - maps towards inner Zen. As such, Stanford can be said to explore physical environments, such as the enchanting Mojave Desert, in order to unlock psychological landscapes. By transforming reality into imagined realms, his works enact forms of interconnectedness.

Stanford will exhibit a series of his unique and shimmering backlit lenticulars, which create mesmerising image changes as the viewer changes viewpoint.Works featured will include new works and two LasVegas inspired pieces previously premiered at the 20th Anniversary of Asia Art in London in 2017. One of the works, a backlit lenctiular shown in London and Vegas, is a vibrant piece called Recombo Old Tropicana (48 x 48 inches). New works include circular backlit lenticular called Glow Glare Circle (48 inches diameter).

This exhibition follows from the success of Stanford‘s solo show at Sahara West Library, Las Vegas earlier in 2018.

The group show will take place at Melissa Morgan Fine Art on 24th November from 5-7pm.

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12th Annual Online Auction | Lion's Roar

Shimmering Zen by James Stanford

Lion’s Roar and Buddhadharma’s 12th Online Auction is underway to support their nonprofit endeavors. I am donating a signed copy of ‘Shimmering Zen’ to be auctioned. The art in the book is inspired by vintage neon signs of Las Vegas and the concept of Indra’s net.

It is the perfect gift for someone special! > Auction

Vintage Las Vegas Neon Inspired Silk Scarves

David Tupaz SS19 | Inspired by Shimmering Zen | Featuring Lucky Lady silk scarf

David Tupaz SS19 | Inspired by Shimmering Zen | Featuring Lucky Lady silk scarf

Lucky Lady, a beautiful 54” x 54” hand stitched silk scarf made its fashion debut at New York Fashion Week when it graced David Tupaz’ SS19 couture show. Upon the success of New York, Tupaz presented his designs in Las Vegaswith James Stanford's Shimmering Zen exhibition serving as the backdrop to the show..

The scarves are available for the holidays. Additional designs will be available soon.