Artistic Endeavors – James Stanford’s Mandalas


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.


Stanford uses the iconic vintage signage of Las Vegas, where he spent his childhood at a time when the town was small and provincial, without access to global culture. His layered images reflect a mirrored geometry that unravels and then recomposes. Printed on metallic paper, the works evoke a sense of infinite reflection.

Some of the pieces in the exhibit are “lenticular” images — several layers of the same image, each treated and colored differently, backlit and viewed through a lenticular, or striated, magnifying lens. They are the product of intensive Photoshopping — up to 30 or 40 layers each. The picture shifts as you move in front of it. So when you move, the image shift, while brief, is pronounced, a disruptive flutter before the picture snaps back to clarity, albeit now in a different alignment. Think kaleidoscopes.

Kings 8

Lucky Lady

Stanford’s latest photo montage exhibit is part of his Indra’s Jewels, and is available as a book. You can sample more of Stanford’s work on his Vimeo channel, These short, often silent, videos can be mesmerizing.


Filed under Commentary, Exhibits

12 responses to “Artistic Endeavors – James Stanford’s Mandalas

  1. Nice! Though the idea of Las Vegas and Buddhism seems like oil and water is me!

  2. I like them, and I went to the Vimeo channel — after just one video, I clicked on autoplay the others — and then the screen was blocked with a “You just won a phone” screen that I couldn’t get out of. So I didn’t see any others. 😦

  3. Doreen Kuster

    Wow! Some of his images would look great in a quilt! I just love kaleidoscopes.

  4. Thanks for this post and the links. These are amazing and beautiful!

  5. Rosemaryflower

    These are beautiful, very intricate.
    My daddy and I were in a toy store last week (at the mall!!) and played with various kaleidoscopes. This reminds me of those incredible images. Remember when we were kids and how hypnotising they were?
    All four of these are beautiful! Thank you for sharing the story about this guy, I am certainly going to investigate further. Amazing colors

  6. The process sounds fascinating but the images sort of make my eyes hurt.

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