‘Digital painter’ James Stanford is known for his complex photomontages of Las Vegas landmarks and neon signs. Combining traditional photography with innovative digital technology, he layers original photographs to reimagine them as rich digital mosaics. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, Stanford’s abstract style features bold colours and mesmerising visual networks. Often printed as backlit lenticulars, his illuminated works move with the viewer’s gaze and take on a shimmering life of their own.
Local artist James Stanford presents a new exhibition of photomontages of vintage Las Vegas landmarks and the city’s famed neon signs Through December 8 in the Sahara West Library.
Heavily influenced by his native Las Vegas roots and surroundings, Stanford is an innovative artist who revisits the vibrant energy of 1960s Vegas with this collection. “Shimmering Zen” has a range of intricate digital collages of original photographs that capture the city’s iconic aesthetic and particularly its neon signs.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — 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.
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.
Shimmering Zen: Visions of Vegas – new Las Vegas exhibition by James Stanford.
n a new exhibition entitled Shimmering Zen, innovative digital artist James Stanford will exhibit a range of kaleidoscopic digital collages of original photographs that capture Las Vegas’ iconic aesthetic. “Shimmering Zen reflects Stanford’s continued interest in transforming reality into imagined realms and in the development of a visual expression of spirituality. Drawing on the ancient traditions of Buddhism, he conceives of his digital montages as “modern mandalas” – maps towards inner zen.”
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.
Britney Spears made her solo debut, David Bowie his final public appearance and this year, David Tupaz showed his designs at Fashion Week at the Manhattan Center, an ornate, venue whose majestic, hand-painted ceiling provides a firmament for artists and patrons. A stage for opera, and later, vaudeville, the venue has continued with a range of music groups, not to mention the fashion show where Tupaz let loose with a parade of fashion gems. Inspired by Jim Stanfords digital montage, Shimmering Zen, the designer transformed the modern and mystical mandalas into sensual, spiritual and wearable art. Like Indras Jewels, the Manhattan Centers ceiling floated above the glowing models in Davids creations, soon to be viewed in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. We caught up with the designer in between shows.
James Stanford’s Shimmering Zen is now on exhibit at The Studio-Sahara West Library in Las Vegas, Nevada, through December 8, 2018. It has been described as the intersection of Las Vegas and Buddhism. The digital images are intricate, detail-dense, neatly symmetrical, abstract, mandala-like. Most often they’re layers of details cropped from historic photos of Vegas signage and architecture.
You have used different media in your career to express your work, painting, photography … Why did you switch from traditional art to digital art?
My painting technique was very detailed and laborious. I used ancient glazing techniques and set a standard for myself that I couldn’t take into the real world.
In graduate school, some of the teachers expressed concern about the pace of my art making. I soon realized that I needed to speed things up in order to make a living at art. I also discovered that my paintings were progressing slower than my growth as an artist.
James Stanford’s new exhibition features digital collages of neon signs and Las Vegas landmarks, including the Flamingo, Binion’s (pictured) and Fremont Street. It will be on display through Dec. 8 in The Studio at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave. A reception with Stanford will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday. For more information, visit shimmeringzen.com.