James Stanford donates Buddhist work to the Tibetan cause

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • October 16, 2019

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Las Vegas digital artist James Stanford will be donating his monumental work ‘Budding Buddha’ to Art For Tibet for their 9th annual auction and exhibition in support of the Tibetan peoples’ nonviolent freedom struggle against occupation.  


Founded in 2009, Art for Tibet will be taking place in New York on Thursday November 7 2019, and will bring together artists and activists to celebrate, commemorate, and support the Tibetan people.


Stanford’s work ‘Budding Buddha’, a 3-flip backlit lenticular print is edition one of five, moving with the viewers gaze it transforms into three contrasting versions of itself. Depicting the Buddha’s head the work refers to Stanford’s own deep spirituality ignited in his teen years when he was introduced to Seon Buddhism and began practicing meditation. Other artists donating works to include Shepard Fairey, Cey Adams, Al Diaz and Pema Rinzin. 


This year’s Art for Tibet’s Honorary Committee is made up of legendary hip-hop artist and Beastie Boys collaborator Cey Adams, French-Tibetan painter Marie-Dolma Chopel, Shepard Fairey and Columbia Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Robert Thurman. The exhibition and auction will take place at the prestigious Gallery 8 in Harlem, where Tibetan artists will be showcased alongside leading contemporary artists. An online auction will take place from October 25 – November 7 2019 and the live auction on November 7.


Stanford is widely known for his series Shimmering Zen, a group of digital works featuring mesmerising mandala designs based on photos of historic Las Vegas neon signage. The mosaics and patterns have an immaterial and spiritual quality evoking the artist’s strong connection to Zen Buddhism. Using a mix of traditional photography and digital techniques, Stanford layers photographs to create and discover patterns in familiar yet completely revitalised images. The exploration of light is key to Stanford’s practice as he draws on his expertise as a painter photographer and professor of colour theory.


Dedicated to promoting arts and culture in his hometown Las Vegas, recent months have seen Stanford design a monumental site-specific mural covering the arts incubator at 705 North Las Vegas Boulevard. The mural spans over 2,000 square feet and commemorates the iconic Blue Angel statue that watched over Downtown Las Vegas for 61 years from its mid-century perch at the Blue Angel Motel.


Multimedia artist Stanford has earned an international reputation for an innovative and diverse oeuvre founded on the values of artistic experimentation and meditative practice. Working inventively in a wide range of media and genres, his subject matter ties into a long-term interest in the study and transformation of popular culture, most widely known in the abstract meditative reconfigurations through his Shimmering Zen series, a body of work based on the neon signage and lights of Las Vegas. His art is widely recognized for a sense of radiant light, shadowy space and an infinity of crystalline forms, aptly named modern mandalas. As a practicing Bodhisattva teacher, the artist describes his approach and the transformation within his process: “My works are part of my practice: meditations, and as such they act as guides to help the viewer gaze deeper into who we really are. Popular culture can teach us all a lot about who we really are and show us our correct relationship to the universe.”


James Stanford says:


“I am honoured to be donating a work to Art For Tibet, a cause that is very close to my heart. As a practicing Buddhist I believe in equality, freedom and human rights, all things the Tibetan people are currently deprived of. I commend the Students for a Free Tibet’s (SFT) important work including their annual fundraisers which help them continue their fight to free Tibet with nonviolent action.”

Notes to Editors:


About Art for Tibet:


Founded in 2009, Art for Tibet raises critical funds for Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), a grassroots network of youth and activists campaigning for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. Through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action, SFT empowers youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice. 

More information is available at ​www.artfortibet.org​. 




Ella De Cleyn
Damson PR
020 3981 5200

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