Noah and Nathan Rice first started creating collages when they were in high school, and the 35-year-old twin brothers aren’t stopping anytime soon. Their forthcoming book, Cherry Park Lane, explores Quantum Physics and the great myths of Earth through a series of psychedelic collages. Photos such as a girl in various yoga poses are combined with cityscapes and haunting religious imagery to create what the twins describe as a working study. “The more we study, the more it unfolds in our images,” says Nathan. In anticipation of the Rice’s latest volume of work, director William Lazarus Wacker put together a teaser that gives the new Nine Inch Nails video, directed by David Lynch, a run for its money.
In it, pieces from the collection flicker across the screen to the chilling yet beautiful sounds of Portland-based band OXBLD. The images go back and forth between black-and-white and color, as they do in the book. “The first half of the book will be based on color themes; a bright neon feeling,” explains Nathan, “and the other half is going to be black-and-white, like old Twilight Zone. “ I met up with Nathan in the apartment that he and Noah also use as an art studio (fittingly, it’s in the same building as the East Williamsburg performance space, The Spectrum). Nathan took a few minutes off to chat with me about the mysteries of life, running from cops, and the process of collaging.
Did you go to art school?
No. I always felt like I didn’t need someone to tell me how to be an artist.
Right on. How did you get into collage?
We used to paint, and then when I was 16 or 17, I started collaging randomly in a scrapbook for shits and giggles. I was like, “Oh I’m just going to finish a series of 50 of them for a side project,” and then the more involved I got, I realized I could say a lot more in collaging than I could painting.
Cherry Park Lane will be yours and Noah’s fourth book, how will it differ from the previous three collections?
This one is more concise as far as themes go. It follows a very tight narrative, as compared to our previous work.
And what narrative is that?
It has a lot to do with metaphysical stuff; our own quest for answers and the mysteries we’ve been researching like hollow Earth, the Nehalem, the lost giants, Atlantis, and other common myths.
Where do you find information on these subjects?
We’re bookworms. My passions have always lied in physicists. It’s a lot of researching, a lot of soul searching [laughs], so to speak.
What’s the average time it takes to create one collage?
It depends. Noah works a lot faster than I do, so [with] our next book, two-thirds of the images will be his and one-third mine.
Wait, the collages aren’t collaborations between the two of you?
I mean they can be, we’ll finish each other’s work every now and again. But, for the most part, we’ll start with a theme and both go at it with different pieces and then combine them for a series. They merge together where you can’t pick apart whose is whose, but we usually work individually.
What does the process of making a collage entail?
A lot of cut and paste. We just scour bookstores; back in Portland, Powell’s was golden for it. Here we have The Strand.
Your logo is an umbrella, how did that come about?
It started when we were working on a collaborated project when we were 17, God forbid what [that project] actually looks like now. [The umbrella] became an emblem seal, and throughout the years of creating it, it carried more weight and kind of just solidified as our signature. We used it a lot when we were stenciling and doing graffiti art.
Do you still graffiti?
No, I broke three of my toes jumping over a fence when cops were en route one night. After that, I realized I’d rather just keep it in the studio and not get arrested. We can say a lot more with more time.
Do you have any other upcoming projects?
I just finished an album cover for Rick Bain and the Genius Position, it’s not out yet. He’s part of the Portland Dandy [Warhols’] scene.
Do you ever make flyers for bands?
We did one for the Dandys a couple years ago, for their record release in San Francisco and Portland. Then we did a mural for a boutique hotel in Oregon. If you go in their lobby, it’s covering the wall and ceiling. We outfitted all the rooms for the [TV] show Project Accessory with our pieces. We’re always looking for projects like that.
Rad. Okay, one last thing before going: What does the name of your forthcoming book, Cherry Park Lane, mean?
It was going to be Cherry Park Lane and the End of the World, but now it’s just Cherry Park Lane. It’s a nod towards where
we grew up [Portland, Oregon]. Our grade school was called Cherry Park, so it’s bringing back a lot of ideas from then and our progression as artists