In the gallery…
September 10 – October 29, 2014
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. The exhibition, Touching Strangers, was curated by Ann Pallesen, Gallery Director of Photographic Center Northwest for the Aperture Foundation in spring 2014.
Richard Renaldi was born in 1968 in Chicago, IL, and received his BFA in photography from New York University. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the House of Photography in Stockholm; The Robert Morat Gallery in Hamburg; and The Aperture Gallery; Bonni Benrubi Gallery; and Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. Renaldi’s work has also been exhibited in numerous group shows, including Strangers: The First ICP (International Center of Photography) Triennial of Photography and Video (2003). In 2006 Renaldi’s first monograph,Figure and Ground, was published by Aperture. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Renaldi’s most recent monograph, Touching Strangers, was published by the Aperture Foundation in the spring of 2014.
Touching Strangers has been widely publicized nationally on CBS Evening News, Huffington Post, Slate, The New York Times, TIME, Business Insider, PBS, Today, NPR, WIRE