Richard Renaldi
Touching Strangers

Since 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs made by 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 often taught to reserve only 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. The images are beautiful and strange, crossing out of the zones of safe physical intimacy with strangers and into deep emotional landscapes never photographed before. 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. This exhibition presents opportunities for discussion and reflection on both our commonalities as individuals and the potential for breaking down societal barriers that separate us.

Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He 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.

The exhibition is curated by Ann Pallesen, Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle.

The traveling exhibition Touching Strangers was made possible, in part, with the support of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that made the accompanying publication possible.

Read More:
The New York Times Lens Blog, “You May Touch a Stranger”
NPR Weekend Edition, “What Happens When You Touch A Stranger”

The exhibition consists of eight 50 x 60–inch prints and twenty-four 20 x 24–inch prints. The show requires approximately 190 feet of running wall space.

Touching Strangers
Photographs by Richard Renaldi
11 1/2 x 9 inches, 112 pages, 75 color images
April 2014
Designed by Namkwan Cho

Participation Fee:
$8,000 for an 8-week showing. The host venue is responsible for pro-rated shipping and insurance.

The exhibition is available through 2018.

Current Venue List: