You’ll Never Guess How These Urban Artists Create Unique, Wearable Art
It’s a natural reaction to visiting a big city and be amazed at all of the beautiful, diverse architecture surrounding you, especially if you aren’t from that particular city. When you’re out in a big city, or even in a small town, your eyes are typically focused straight ahead of you or perhaps you are gazing up at the skyscrapers and taking in your surroundings (and trying not to run into anyone). There’s just so much to see at eye level that you never really think about looking down at manhole covers. Or maybe that’s just me.
Either way, this avante-garde urban art collective group intends to change that. They’re known as Raubdruckerin, which means “pirate printers” in German. They believe that a city’s manhole covers, grates, and other metal pieces really show off the heart of the city and that people do not admire them enough. And the way they’re bringing these overlooked designs to our attention is amazing.
The collective prints on useful things like shirts, backpacks, tote bags, and backpacks using eco-friendly, 100% cotton materials. The paint is water based and does not include any solvents, metals, or plasticizers. All of their artwork is also certified fair trade as well.
Their process is pretty straight forward. They simply peruse the city’s streets until something worthy of being printed on a shirt, backpack, or tote is found. Once they have their piece, they set up shop and get to printing.
First, the area to be printed is blocked off and then a layer of printing ink is rolled on. Once the space is ready, the shirt (or what have you) is carefully pressed on and rolled over to seal the paint.
The best thing about the whole process of choosing the piece to sealing the paint is that it is all done outside in the city centers where anyone walking by can stop and watch. The exposure to the artistic process is fun for bystanders, but it also gives them an opportunity to be involved. Raubdruckerin encourages people to bring something of their own to be printed and become an active participant.
The group began printing in 2006 and continues to travel around Europe in search of intricate and unique pieces for their artwork. Raubdruckerin’s pieces of wearable art are not only beautiful and practical, they also honor the cities from which they are made.
Check out their website to read more about them and see what prints they have available for purchase.