Since 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs that involve approaching and asking complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street with a large format 8-by-10-inch view camera, Renaldi encounters the subjects for his photographs in towns and cities all over the United States. He pairs them up and invites them to pose together, intimately, in ways that people are usually taught to reserve for their close friends and loved ones.
Renaldi creates spontaneous and fleeting relationships between strangers for the camera, often pushing his subjects beyond their comfort levels. These relationships may only last for the moment the shutter is released, but the resulting photographs are moving and provocative, and raise profound questions about the possibilities for positive human connection in a diverse society.
This exhibition coincides with the launch of Renaldi’s book Touching Strangers and includes thirty-five photographs from the series, curated by Ann Pallesen, director of Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle (where the exhibition will tour following its presentation at Aperture Gallery).
For more details on Touching Strangers, visit touchingstrangers.org.
This exhibition was made possible, in part, with the support of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Aperture’s exhibitions receive support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and additional public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that made the accompanying publication possible.