Growing up in New York's West Village "was inspirational" hanging out in Washington Square Park playing Frisbee and watching the people from around the world go by, his cast of characters were born. His imagination wandered through time and space-boundless through infinity."Infinity is a place I often find comfort, serenity and inspiration" he says. Ralph's 3D graphics, 2D illustrations, sci-fi, fantasy and psychedelic art is filled with visions yet unseen, only dreamed of.
As a young boy Ralph was heavily influenced by comic books, rock and roll, and the masters like Michaelangelo and DaVinci, as well as the pre-Raphaelites, and the Art Nouveau masters. At the age of fifteen while working at an Advertising agency, Ralph began working on his own comic series, "Space Pirates". He also began playing the guitar, and creating artwork for rock and roll bands. After grinding away a few years in the Ad business, Ralph, with the encouragement of friends and art enthusiasts, began painting jackets, guitars, walls, banners, and whatever else he could get his hands on. Ralph found that he could share his art and make a little money as well.
Ralph brings his vision of infinity down to earth by incorporating photo realism into his work. Photo realism is an obsession Ralph has had for as long as he can remember. Working on producing the photo realistic image was an addiction until he attended figure drawing sessions at the Soho School of Living Arts. In his early twenties he spent eight months religiously attending these figure drawing sessions. He loved the freedom there. "There were no teachers, no critique, and no one looking over your shoulder. I was free-free just to draw". The freedom experienced in Soho resulted in over 500 pieces.
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, promotional 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.
Based on his years of experience, Ralph has developed a full line of fine art on T-shirts. Each shirt is painted with vibrant colors to create a unique and original style. "A fantastic array of art, space, and color, detailed and intricate, yet balanced", the way only the artist himself could do it. Ralph fells his "loyal fans and customers come first" therefore, he makes his art available to everyone versus the elite few, although occasionally he can be coaxed into working on a time consuming personalized project.
While working for Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco, Ralph had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of musicians that have become fans of his work and wear his shirts on stage. Bands like Jesus Jones , Blues Traveler, Third World, Love Seed Mama Jump, Montana Wild Axe, Ben Andrews, and too many more to mention. Besides making staff sweatshirts for BGP, Ralph also had the honor of heading up the crew that built the largest float to ever parade in a Grateful Dead Mardi Gras show and ride in it.
West coast concert promoter Bill Graham once said of Infinitee Designs by Ralph Hawke Manis "I've never seen anything quite like them. They're truly amazing" After viewing one of Ralph's tie dyed T's the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia said "Wow! What is that". Dead heads and Rockers from San Francisco's Haight Ashbury to The West Village in NYC "Infinitee Designs T-shirts Rule". Shakedown Street lives on... Ralph Manis' 3D Studio Max, Bryce 4, and Photoshop 5.5 digital computer graphic artwork is heavily influenced by music from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. Rock legends like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin and well, you get the picture. As you view the images in this site you will come to see this influence quite clearly.
Biography by Monica May and Ralph Manis