Infinitee Rock Band T-shirts is the brain child of artist Ralph Hawke Manis who started painting everything he could get under a paintbrush at a very early age. His first exhibit was at the age of four at the The Art Institute of Chicago Museum where he displayed an clay sculpture of a purple and pink polka-dot Elephant??? (Hey, he was only four!) Ralph has moved on to much bigger and better things in the art world and has created a very successful Website Infinitee Designs aimed at educating aspiring as well as established artists in computer digital art, illustration, 3D modeling and animation. You can see much of his recent and past work there as well.
In 1974 at the age of 15 years old Ralph started hand drawing t-shirts with permanent magic markers and selling them on the streets of Greenwich Village in New York City. He later graduated on to hand painting them with acrylic paints and finally after a friend told him about airbrushing and Phil Brown taught him how to silk screen T-shirts his new printing and hand painting business started to take off and the rest is history.
I have always been intrigued by the concept of "infinity" and have spent many hours pondering it's endless wonders so, having a T-shirt business with the name "INFINITEE" just seemed perfect.
The tapestries are a new addition to the Infinitee brand collection that are produced by our friends at Gypsy Rose with my artwork and we are very pleased with the quality of the material and printing!
The Fillmore East, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead
As an artist who was well known in the "Village" Ralph chose not to involve himself with the mundane aspects of everyday business. Instead, he would hang out in the clubs listening to music and creating art. This period in his life resulted in making staff shirts for Jimi Hendrix' Electric Ladyland Studios, promo shirts for numerous rock and roll bands, and a show at NYC's hot spot The Limelight. Entrenched in rock and roll and influenced by his figure drawing sessions, this period resulted in the creation of many of Ralph's finest works of the rock and roll legends.
"It all started when I had hand drawn and painted 10 Grateful Dead shirts one time and it took me about a week to do. I thought I would go down to the Academy of Music (originally the Fillmore East) on 14th St. in NYC and see if I could sell any of them there at a Frank Zappa show. As soon as I pulled the shirts out I was mobbed by the crowd and I sold all ten in two seconds at ten bucks a piece. A hundred bucks for a starving artist was a lot in those days, The early 1970s I think it was... Needless to say a very bright light bulb went off in my head and the same night I ran into Phil Brown and Mikio who where welling their wild tie dyes and beautiful artwork printed with silk screen. We were all in awe of each others work and became instant friends for life.
Livin' on the open road, what a long strange trip it's been and still is... Following the Grateful Dead and other great bands around for 20 years or so, had it's ups, downs and all around's but, generally it was the most fun a person can have on the planet! A lot of the time was spent hardly touching the planet with all that wild and crazy dancing foolishness. I don't go to to many shows any more but, I still drag all my shirts and crew to "The Gathering of the Vibes" once a year to set up a booth and party hall. Along with Phil Brown my top notch tie dye guy and partner in crime, we bring the wives, friends and kitchen sink to have a good ol' time filled with Peace, Love and Rock n' Roll.... Oh, and a whole lot of hip shakin'!!"