Category: Writing

The Manliness of Peanut Butter and Jelly

The Manliness of Peanut Butter and Jelly is a 41-page paperback book. The story is written by Travis Blankenship with illustrations by Mark Rice executed in ink wash.

Here is a description written by the author, Travis Blankenship.

“In The Manliness of Peanut Butter & Jelly, four young boys battle one another in a culinary competition as stomach-churning as it is heart-warming. Struggling to identify as men, these boys build their confidence in victory and the bonds established with others in a story that unfolds when the school cafeteria serves a dreaded pizza. Ink wash illustrations by Mark Rice highlight standout moments, as the tension in this essay by Travis Blankenship builds.”

Below is a link to purchase the book followed by some pics of the finished product.

Buy the book here

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The Gamma Tapes

The Gamma Tapes is a series of prints, drawings, and painted sculptures about the early life of my immediate family: my father, mother, and sister. Being that we are all living in different parts of the world right now, I found that this was a way to continue work on childhood stories and imagery, but to focus the attention away from myself as the subject, therefore learning, relearning, reinterpreting, and reconnecting with stories from my family’s past.

The project began by carving a visual portrait of each member of the family. Soon following this, I interviewed each person about instances in there formative years that were not necessarily important, but were “memorable,” specifically in the visual sense.

All text was translated from English to Rungish, and then combined with the imagery from the stories. These works reference both the subject, the subject as narrator, and myself as illustrator.

Many stories contained a certain amount of “unattainable information.” These instances are marked with a reference number and relegated to the library of gamma tapes (an out-dated and unplayable media format) that the viewer may reference at their leisure. Many of the tapes are out of order, missing, or damaged, but otherwise in good condition. Each tape label is written in Rungish, with a corresponding gouache painting, all tucked inside a silkscreened tape case.

Below is photo documentation and reference photos of two installed iterations of this project entitled Yung Mail Tails: Another Reading Room Annex. The first was at the Hampden Gallery at UMASS Amherst in October of 2013 and the second was part of a exhibition called “Kodachromia & Perspectrum” at the Hastings College Gallery in Hastings, Nebraska in March of 2014.

Dear Dairy (with Jeremy Kennedy)

Dear Dairy is a 8.5 x 11 inch college-ruled notebook that was passed back and forth through the United States Postal Service between artists Jeremy Kennedy (Los Angeles, CA) and Mark Rice (Philadelphia, PA) between November of 2012 and October of 2013. Themes of television, to-do lists, psycho-doodles, sports, cartoons, and “mental-drooling” predominate the conception of this work and responses were created to and with these ideas in an effort to continue and finally complete this conversation/debate/root beer party.

For more works by Jeremy Kennedy, please visit table-blue.com

Pages are displayed in sequence followed by a movie trailer-themed short video for the book.

 

The Huge Weather Trilogy

Eighty stories

written and narrated in transition.

20 from Childhood

20 Overheard

 20 Experienced

20 Imagined

These eighty stories document my life  in Spartanburg, South Carolina from June 2011 to May 2012.

Each section of this trilogy utilizes the same stories to document this period of time using different methods that engender different results.

The HUGE WEATHER TRILOGY is split up into the following:

HUGE WEATHER: Station utilizes sections of these eighty stories painted on the sides of twenty-two fence posts savaged from the surrounding area and arranged in an outdoor installation. The language employed on these posts is a phonetic-based dialect of English called Rungish, This language is used to slow the reading process in an attempt to suspend and lengthen the viewers search for meaning. The stories are organized by the colors red, green, blue, and black.

HUGE WEATHER : Data interweaves characters and settings from these eighty stories to form sixteen two-dimensional compositions. Ink, charcoal, colored pencil, and pen in the colors of red, green, blue, and black are used to translate, document, distort, and merge these memories, creating a colorful and exaggerated package of documentation, ready for recollection.

HUGE WEATHER: Report takes the form of a Xeroxed pamphlet with a rubber stamped cover. This version takes efforts to define the actual experiences but offers no chronological aid nor any color-coded categorization. This is the most definitive, distorted, and portable version of the trilogy.

FLF (portfolio and book)

FLF is a book by artist Mark Rice which contains his thesis work in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. It is an illustrated creation myth about the artist’s own philosophy towards art making. This book is written from the point of view of a man named Kevinator in the invented language of Rungish. It works as a posthumous account of Kevinator’s final months after a large explosion traps him in his place of employment. He deals with his own issues of fear, originality, and inspiration while battling his new caged environment. Symbolically, it is a parafictional, metaphorical, and exaggerated account of Mark Rice’s two years of graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design.

This project originally took the form of a portfolio of thirty-six prints, with three separately printed appendices, with a total print count of eight-eight. Copper and wood engravings that documented previous projects in drawing, sculpture, print, installation and music illuminate the story.  Influenced by a study of early book projects like the Nuremberg Chronicle and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, the size and scope of the project was intentionally vast. The appearance of engraving references its initial usage in the documentation of sculpture, jewelry, and paintings. These prints are displayed as documents, in direct reference to their preceding and intentionally absent sculptural counterparts. The inherent discrepancies between these reproductive engravings and their original artwork are large, and this discrepancy is used as a metaphor of the subjective quality of memory and objective documentation.

The invented English dialect of Rungish accompanies the illustrations in this text. This dialect of English was created for those with a distrust of language’s inherent ability to disseminate and demystify. This language demands an empathetic collaboration that bears a striking similarity to the relationship sought by this artist in speaking through images. It seeks a slower and more reflective read as a method of reestablishing trust in the mutual responsibilities of communication for author and reader, artist and viewer. Both the mediation of reality through expressive documentation and the usage of a restrictive text call into question the current expectations we have for modern communication. Rungish works to briefly suspend understanding in exchange for a moment of visual contemplation.

Pictured below is the portfolio of prints in chronological order and the packaging of the portfolio. This is followed by documentation of the digitally-printed catalog.

Hey Hey Freedom

Hey Hey Freedom is a collection of 12 silkscreened postcards. These prints were made from recycled and recontextualized imagery from previous work, then given a completely different fictional short story to accompany them, severing ties with their previous existence.

This was one of the first recent projects to incorporate writing compositions directly with visual work.

After completing the set of postcards, another separate product was created to exemplify the stories. This was called Hey Hey Freedom Version TXT.

What follows are photos of the entire collection of prints.

Click on the titles below the photos to link to the short stories in their entirety.

Seahorse

Flooded Indiana

Pink Dog

Double Spine

Bum Face

Target Ham

Pink Jacket

Night Spots

Battery Head

Mike Rose

Hive-Handed

Beer Head