Richard Renaldi Lecture: Touching Strangers
Since 2007, New York based photographer Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of portraits made by approaching complete strangers and asking them to physically interact while posing together for a photograph. Renaldi works on the street with a large-format 8-by-10-inch view camera, finding his subjects in towns and cities all over the United States. He pairs them up and invites them to pose together, intimately, in ways that people typically reserve for their closest friends and loved ones. Renaldi creates spontaneous and fleeting relationships between strangers for the camera, often pushing his subjects beyond their comfort levels. The images are beautiful and strange, crossing out of the zones of safe physical intimacy with strangers and into deep emotional landscapes never before photographed. These relationships may only last for the moment of the photograph, but the resulting images are moving and provocative, and raise profound questions about the possibilities for positive human connection in a diverse society. The work reflects on both our commonalities as individuals and the potential for breaking down the societal barriers that separate us.
Richard Renaldi will speak about the evolution of Touching Strangers, which will be published by Aperture in 2014. He will also share images and insights from several previous projects that brought him to this point, detailing milestones of a life and career built on crossing into the unknown.
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Born in Chicago in 1968, Richard Renaldi received his BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006 Renaldi’s first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by Aperture. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Renaldi is the founder and publisher of Charles Lane Press, an independent publisher that showcases important new projects by contemporary photographers. Renaldi’s third monograph, Touching Strangers, will be released by Aperture in April 2014.