Guerrilla Printers Are Using Manhole Covers To Create The Most Amazing T-Shirts.
Not every manhole is created equal. Most cities throughout the world make their cast iron covers with creative designs and patterns, even though most pedestrians and drivers will not enjoy the work that went into them. It's an overlooked and frequently stepped-on art form.
The art-collective group behind Raubdruckerin, meaning 'pirate printers' in German, has come up with an innovative way to showcase cities’ urban art. The team uses the patterns on the manholes for the graphic art that is applied on t-shirts, tote bags, hoodies, and posters.
The imprints don’t only come from manholes; vents and utility grates are also used. And unlike vandalism where it involves modifying a space through painting and designing with graffiti when no one is looking, this art medium is developed in broad daylight where designs are copied for everyone to see and enjoy.
Drain covers are painted with the garment or bag pressed against it, resulting in the print.
The group began making its graphic clothing in 2006 in the studio of Johannes Kohlrusch in Alentejo, Portugal.
Today, the imprints come from all over the world including Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, and Amsterdam, to name a few.
The products used are certified fair trade. Organic cotton is also used for their merchandise.
The prints are a new form of urban art.
Oftentimes, people are invited to make their own t-shirts, making it an interactive experience.
A paint roller and paint are the tools used to make the graphic art. Water-based paint without solvents, heavy metals, and plasticizers are used.
Raubdruckerin feels they are giving the often overlooked and ignored city structures their deserved recognition.
At events and festivals, customers are encouraged to bring their own, special garment to imprint on.
Each imprint from a manhole tells of a place in the world and the time the plate was made.