Karl LaRocca founded Kayrock in 1998, initially to print his own work. He soon expanded his mission to collaborate with artists recommended to him, as well as members of his wife's studio collective. He has sometimes spotted potential collaborators at art fairs and on Instagram. From the printshop in Greenpoint (the third in a series of shops LaRocca has set up in north Brooklyn), Kayrock prints and publishes several inexpensive editions (at $60, affordable for the young collector) each year, under the rubric “FreshPrints!”, along with more expensive fine art editions and low-priced artist books.
Common to many of these publications is Kayrock's involvement in progressive political action. LaRocca, an artist himself, affirms this commitment in many of the products – tote bags, posters, T-shirts, patches – made and sold at the shop. Fifty percent of the proceeds from those sales go to a charity of the shopper's choice.
With a degree from Oberlin in studio art and creative writing, LaRocca, specializes in screenprinting. He honed his skills by reading, talking with others, and “doing something wrong and figuring out how to make that not happen again.” For him, the Brooklyn printshop community, especially Luther Davis and Mark Herschede, has been quick to share knowledge and advice. Along with the proliferation of shops in Brooklyn, LaRocca values Printmakers Anonymous, which gives printers opportunities to visit each other’s studios. –RW
Photo Credit: Jason Falchook