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Shimmering Zen
Shimmering Zen

Shimmering Zen

Inspired By The Neon Lights of Las Vegas

By James Stanford, Foreword by Jeff Rosen, Edited by Laura Henkel, Other Rosa JH Berland, Other Philip Lewis


192 Pages, 9.75 x 9.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $39.99 (US $39.99) (CA $51.99)

Publication Date: March 2021

ISBN 9781733857437

Rights: WOR

Smallworks Press (Mar 2021)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: March 2021


Features 135 captivating montages from a massive portfolio spanning two decades

American multidisciplinary artist James Stanford transforms the mid-century neon signs and architectural elements of Las Vegas into mesmerizing contemporary works of art. His art series, Shimmering Zen, captures the bright lights of Las Vegas as it shimmers within the vast beauty of the Mojave Desert. To create his art, Stanford begins with original photographs and uses digital technologies to collage and assemble a visionary set of images. This unique creative process translates into an impressive geometric tableau of shifting and overlapping brilliant hues, pattern and light  quite unlike any other artwork today. As a native son of this world renown oasis, Stanford is continually inspired by the city's ongoing metamorphosis and wonderment. The fusion of art and technology provides Stanford the ability to create a unique meditative quality to his art that is reflective of his own practice in Zen Buddhism. The book features 135 captivating montages from a massive portfolio spanning two decades, as well as the Stanford's thoughts on Zen Buddhism, Mutual Causality, contemporary art and their interconnectedness. Exquisite new artwork is included in this spectacular survey.


"Stanford's modern take on the mandala creates a stream of dreamlike experiences, abstract but with tiny details that begin to look like familiar sites in everyday life."â€â€Evan Pricco, Juxtapoz Magazine  

"Vegas-based artist James Stanford reinvents classic Vegas neon signage through his hypnotic and colorful works." â€â€Jason R. Latham, Vegas Magazine  

"Perhaps no place exemplifies samsara in the American imagination more than Las Vegas, the intoxicating gambling den marked by greed and desire. But the artist and Las Vegas native James Stanford sees something different in Sin City: Zen. He creates dazzling modern mandalas by digitally manipulating photographs of the Mojave Desert and vintage neon signs."â€â€Eliza Rockefeller, Tricycle Magazine   

"Kaleidoscope breaks us from our real world and takes us to places where there are entirely magical visuals. James Stanford reflects this magic in his artwork and offers us the opportunity to enjoy this world without the need for kaleidoscope." â€â€Beren Dere, Bontena

Author Biography

American multimedia artist James Stanford has earned an international reputation for an innovative and diverse oeuvre founded on the values of artistic experimentation and meditative practice. He is celebrated for his pictorial orchestrations drawing upon the iconic midcentury architecture and neon signs of Las Vegas. While Stanford may pull images from popular culture, the artist's work responds to esoteric interests, visual expressions of religiosity and spirituality, Zen Buddhism, and metaphysical concepts, including the creation of illusionistic fictive space. These images are widely recognized for a sense of radiant light, shadowy space and an infinity of crystalline forms. His practice includes digital and traditional photography, drawing, lenticulars, muralism, painting, projection and video installations and textiles. Based in Las Vegas, he exhibits internationally and is commissioned for site-specific art for corporate and private collections. Additional essay contributions by art historians, Jeff Rosen, Vice President for Accreditation Relations for the Higher Learning Commission and Professor of Art History, and Rosa JH Berland, a published historian of modern and contemporary art/design, as well as a professional curator for Frick Collection, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and The Edward E. Boccia Artist Trust. Artist interview by Laura Henkel, a published curator, photographer and writer. Book design by award-winning designer Philip Lewis who has created books for The British Museum, The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern/Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, in addition to designing for artists as Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Long and Susan Hiller.