Richard Renaldi – Touching Strangers

New Yorker Richard Renaldi has a long-term relationship with strangers. His work consists mostly of the documentary portrait, and this has always required at least a minimal amount of interaction with non-acquaintances. But that’s not to say he’s always been comfortable with embracing the unfamiliar. The concepts of happenstance meetings, brief intimate interactions with strangers and the limits of our boundaries are what led Renaldi to his latest series, Touching Strangers. The concept seems pretty simple. Get a couple of people—complete strangers—to touch and pose. Then snap away. The process is more complicated. What exactly does it mean to ‘touch’? A pat on the back or a warm embrace? And Renaldi himself had to confront his own discomfort with approaching and directing complete strangers. It’s these complications that render the result so powerful.

Richard Renaldi’s past work is available in print from his very own Charles Lane Press. Touching Strangers is on view at the Gallery at Hermes in New York City from April 9th to May 28th.

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