Unlimited hosted 'PlayGround', an exhibition of prints by screen-printing duo PrintMakingMoneyGang in Spring 2019.
Els Baeten and Jasper van Grunsven, the founders and creatives of PrintMakingMoneyGang are based in Antwerp, Belgium. We asked them to give our Unlimited audience an insight into their ventures and share with us what they love about their home city.
Hiya! How would you describe yourselves and what you do?
We are screenprinting, graphic addicts & type fanatics running an open access screen printing studio.
As PrintMakingMoneyGang, we create our own screenprinting universe using grids, halftone patterns, geometric planes & typography. Our brightly coloured designs highlight all the advantages screen printing has to offer, while creating limited edition artworks. (See all PrintMakingMoneyGang prints here)
We also run an open access screenprinting studio in Antwerp called Gezeever (in Dutch it is kind of a funny double entendre). It is the screenprinting base for a whole bunch of Antwerp creatives. We also co-operate with artists, schools and museums to provide workshops for people who are interested in screenprinting.
What makes screenprinting your medium of choice?
The great thing about screenprinting is being in control of the whole process from design to the finished product. As a Graphic Designer you spend a lot of time behind a desk. After you've finished the design it goes into print and can lose touch with your product. It's really awesome to be able to print your own design. Besides that the colours are magnificent! You can't achieve anything like it in off-set or digital printing. Although we try, you can never reach true perfection when screenprinting, but we love the imperfections you get by printing manually.
What are your design influences?
Sol Lewitt, Harmen Liemburg, Michiel Schuurman and Studio Feixen
Are you involved in any other creative outlets / businesses?
We provide basic screenprinting courses in our studio, but we also host workshops in various locations where we introduce people to the medium. For three years now we have taken part in the Summer Academy organised by De Veerman, where we work with a group of 10 people for an entire week, screenprinting from early morning till late evening. It's super intense, but it's great to see just how differently people can use the same medium and make progress in one week.
We also have set up a unique screenprinting workshop in collaboration with participatory artist Kristof van Gestel. Kristof has devised a walk-in workshop where participants end up in a kind of large abstract screenprinting machine creating collaborative artworks! With this workshop we travel to a range of museums, academies, cultural centres and festivals.
We also host artist talks from time to time. It's such a pleasure to meet other artists and get to know the way they work. Some of the artists that have visited the studio include Harmen Liemburg, Hedof, Oli B, Stang and Sigrid Calon.
Are you from Antwerp originally? If not, what made you move there?
Els: I moved there because of my studies. After I finished my studies I stayed there because I quickly found a job nearby.
Jasper: I used to visit Antwerp regularly, especially to grab some new Dries van Noten gear during sales! When I started working for a Dutch graphic design agency in Breda I first moved there, but it didn't feel like a place I could call home. To me it lacked rawness and creativity. But Antwerp was nearby and it has plenty of both, so I moved there.
What makes Antwerp special to you?
Although Antwerp is quite a small city it has a lot to offer, whether it's fashion, art or gastronomy. It's a magnet to creative people.
Any other local creative talent you’d recommend checking out?
Charlotte Dumortier, David Boon, Kristof van Gestel and Fien Jorissen
Your fave city destinations when you travel?
Berlin, Rotterdam and Barcelona
Your top Antwerp tips to:
Bar Vert is only open during the day, but it's right across from our studio.
It has a very laid back vibe, which perfectly suits the neighbourhood. It's also great for lunch by the way, the flatbreads are amazing!
Roskam is located in the city centre. You can drink a coffee, beer or wine and eat a nice lunch. It's across the square from Museum Plantin Moretus - a Unesco world heritage site where you can see 300 years of letterpress and book-printing art.
Veranda is located near the former slaughterhouse site. It's a bit of a rough neighbourhood, but you're in for a culinary surprise at this go-to place!
Pastificio Marie is a lovely place for fresh homemade pasta.
Beni Falafel is where to go to eat the best falafel in town.
Fish a'Gogo is right in the historic centre. We hardly ever visit that part of town, but they have the best shrimp croquette, so worth a visit!
A bit out of town you can find De Lindekens. They serve lovely Flemish dishes. It’s always packed because it’s such great food.
3. Be inspired?
The Cogels-Osylei and its surrounding streets take you right back to the Belle Epoque. It's packed with super eclectic (from Art Nouveau, Neo-Gothic, neoclassical to Tudor) late 19th and early 20th-century mansions. Here you'll find some the most beautiful town palaces of Antwerp.
Green Quarter/Pakt is near to our studio. Its a former industrial site, turned into a creative, sustainable hub.
Ticktack is a gallery that presents exhibitions by day and at sunset the window transforms into a projection screen where they show video and digital art. We cooperate with them by printing the posters for upcoming exhibitions.
Cinema Cartoons is a great small cinema that shows everything from in-depth documentaries, award-winning feature films, modern classics and small audience films to unconventional genre films. The café was also nicely restored and there's a bar 'Sous-Sol' in the basement.
Check out Middelheim Museum, Sculpturen Parc, St Anna’s Tunnel and Schelde
Verbeke Foundation is a great museum and sculpture garden - you can get the DeWaterBus to Lilo.
Do check out the amazing array of screenprints exclusive to Unlimited by PrintMakingMoneyGang available online here