“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 x 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.” – Courtesy Aperture Foundation
The traveling exhibition “Touching Strangers” is currently on view at the Aperture Gallery in New York City, Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle and Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago. A book by the same name is currently available at Aperture. Renaldi’s incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign helped fund the project.