Eric T. Kunsman
585.235.9196, Grape and Orange Mini Mart, 111 Orange Street, Rochester, NY 14611, 2019
11 x 8½" Archival pigment print
6½ x 6½" Image size
Edition of 22
Each print includes a certificate of authenticity, numbered and hand-signed by the artist.
About the Image
This is an important payphone in my series because this is the corner store right by my studio where I really started to notice the payphones. The day I drove by and saw the seats out there, I knew I wanted to go back and photograph. The first attempt didn't work due to a shadow of a tree. I went back later in the day and I was able to capture this image.
Eric T. Kunsman (b. 1975) was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While in high school, he was heavily influenced by the death of the steel industry and its place in American history. The exposure to the work of Walker Evans during this time hooked Eric onto photography. Eric had the privilege to study under Lou Draper, who became Eric’s most formative mentor. He credits Lou with influencing his approach as an educator, photographer, and contributing human being.
Eric holds his MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and
holds an MS in Electronic Publishing/Graphic Arts Media, BS in Biomedical Photography, BFA in Fine Art photography, all from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
Currently, he is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. Eric works at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as an Assistant Professor in the Visual Communications Studies Department at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and is an adjunct professor for the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences.
In addition to lectures, he provides workshops on topics including his artistic practice, digital printing, and digital workflow processes. He provided industry seminars for the highly regarded Printing Applications Lab at RIT. His photographs and books are exhibited internationally and are in
several collections. He currently owns Booksmart Studio, which is a fine art digital printing studio specializing in numerous techniques and services for photographers and book artists on a collaborative basis.
Eric’s work has been exhibited in over 35 solo exhibitions at such venues as Nicolaysen Art Museum, Hoyt Institute of Fine Art, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, and numerous university galleries. His work has also been a part of over 150 group exhibitions over the past four years, including exhibitions at the Center for Photography, A. Smith Gallery, SPIVA, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Spartanburg Museum of Art, Atlanta Photography Group, CEPA Gallery, Site: Brooklyn, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and many more.
Eric was named one of 10 B&W photographers to watch of 2018 by BWGallerist; B&W Best Photographers of the Year 2019 by Dodho Magazine; won the Association of Photography (UK)
Gold Award for Open Series in 2019; Top 50 Critical Mass 2022; Finalist, Top 200 Critical Mass
2019, 2020, 2021; Top 15 Photographers for the Rust Belt Biennial; and Lensculture B&W Jurors’ Pick 2021. His Project Felicific Calculus was also awarded a Warhol Foundations Grant through CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Eric’s work has also been published in magazines such as; Bloomberg Businessweek, LensWork, Dodho, B&W Photography, Analog Explorations, All About Photo, Black+White Photography (UK), Dek Unu, along with online articles by Analog Forever Magazine, Catalyst: Interview, Texas Photo Society, and others.
There's no “given,” formula for what demands Eric’s focus as a photographer. Eric is as drawn to the landscapes and neglected towns of the American southwest as he is to the tensions of struggling rustbelt cities in the U.S. northeast. Eric is attracted to objects left behind, especially
those that hint at a unique human narrative, a story waiting to be told. Eric’s current work explores one of those relics: working payphones hidden in plain sight throughout the neighborhood near his studio in Rochester, NY. Associates suggested they signified a high crime area. This project's shown Eric something very different.