Rob Swainston founded Prints of Darkness with Doug Bennett in his Williamsburg loft in 2006. The printshop’s humorous name originates from The Truth, a novel in Terry Pratchett’s popular fantasy book series, Discworld. After a temporary yet crippling evacuation from the loft in 2008, Bennett left to pursue other interests, while Swainston continued to run the shop on his own. Prints of Darkness provides artists with access to a variety of print media, and specializes in layering different techniques and integrating new digital technologies with older print processes. As master printer, Swainston is committed to giving the artists in his shop the freedom to experiment and “collectively problem solve” in order to achieve a finished work.

As a student of history and political science, Swainston was drawn to printmaking as the primary visual agent of social change. He received an MA from Central University in Budapest before completing his MFA at Columbia University in 2006. There he studied woodcut with Gregory Amenoff and intaglio with Tomas Vu while gaining invaluable experience working at the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies. He met a likeminded community of printers and artists who were actively “carving out a new space for printmaking.” Central to developing his expertise, Swainston has produced thousands of prints as part of his own body of work. Prints of Darkness moved to Long Island City in 2015.   –SR

Image Credit: Allison Dell