Wiener Unart. Both the name and the very contents of the shop play with the ambiguity of “art” and “naughtiness”. Of course we’re not talking sexually naughty here, you won’t get a complementary cream pie for the road.
What you get instead are partially raw, partially cool and always beautiful pieces of art, printed via silk screen on various textiles from shirts to skirts to scarfs by hand. Some are spitting and colourful, others almost sink into their respective backgrounds. Everything about the atelier oozes the feeling of underground art – and that’s not only because Wiener Unart is located in a walk-down store where the windows are shoved towards the ceiling to let enough light in. It’s the do-it-yourself attitude, the handmade quality of both the screens and the textiles, that really draw you in and make you shuffle through the shirts hanging from a rail.
They’re all individual items, as shopkeeper Katharina explains: “The idea behind Wiener Unart is to bring the city’s creativity to the public, to work with various artists and feature their styles on our textiles. I personally adore sharing ideas and concepts, and believe that it’s the best way to create something new. That’s why we’ve spread boxes labelled ‘Zeichnungsspende’ (meaning drawing donation) all across Vienna, where artists can deposit their own artwork.” You can find the locations of the boxes on their website, www.wienerunart.at.
The team then empties the boxes (and their inboxes, because you can also send your layout via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org) and puts the designs to the test: The Facebook community gets to vote for the pieces they’d love to wear, and the team chooses the final ideas that’ll see the light of day – be it on shirts, hoodies, handkerchiefs, you name it.
“But the coolest thing about our Zeichenspende campaign is, that the artists behind the winning motifs even get to print their artwork on whatever textile they want. They can come by for a day, and 15 prints are free of charge. So be it mum’s bedcloths, or a flag they’ll hang out their window, they’ll just bring round the textiles, and the printing begins”, Katharina explains.
There you see it: Wiener Unart offers a priceless canvas to all Viennese artists, making some of their work visible. If you want to support the idea of a city growing closer together through design, you can do so until the end of the week. Wiener Unart is currently in the middle of a wemakeit campaign, raising funds for their upcoming collection. And there’s a lot of goodies up for grabs if you decide to throw in a bit of cash. Click here to check out their project page.
So whenever you feel the craving for something unique and soulful, thought up and printed in Vienna, Wiener Unart is the place to go. Because whoever uses a drawing of a blindfolded Sisi as their logo is clearly taking life quite a bit like we do: not too seriously.