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.

JeongMee Yoon

The photos of JeongMee Yoon, in pink and blue, are witness to the cross-culture phenomenon of mass-marketing, consumerism and their effects on gender identity.

Joe Baran

Technically, the images of photographer Joe Baran are perfectly tuned. The sky is just the right color of dusk, the corners of the room are filled softly with light, and the composition maintains a perfect blend of positive and negative space. This technical skill creates a cinematic scene of unease, as though we’re catching each shot as a frame from a longer movement. And it’s that potential, the next scene, that captures us. Showcasing a fascination of contrasting the mundane with the surreal—and perhaps even the invasion of planet Earth!—there’s always something that makes us want to find out what happens next.

Detroit vs. Nature

Andrew Moore

As the American economy continues to recover, one city remains in the midst of an identity crisis. Fast Company reports that a quarter of Detroit—nearly 40,000 acres—is sitting abandoned. That’s why Detroit’s mayor, Dave Bing, recently announced plans to demolish as many as 3,000 structures deemed unsafe. And it seems that the city might actually invest in massive urban renewal plans, including constructing new urban farming projects on sites where these decaying structures once stood. We’ve heard stories of artists and musicians settling down in Detroit, drawn by abundant empty space and cheap property values.

It’s no wonder photographers are snapping images of Detroit, drawn to the romance of a modern ghost town left to natural forces. Each photographer, however, comes with his own perspective. Andrew Moore‘s work often focuses on architecture, with eye for abandoned and dilapidated structures around the world, while James D. Griffioen, a Michigan native, views Detroit from a local’s perspective. Another collaboration between architect and DJ Matthew Radune and photographer Gregory Holm resulted in an entire house covered in ice. These portraits of a city capture the history, and potential of a place that is struggling to find a new way forward.

James D. Griffioen

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore

James D. Griffioen

Gregory Holm

Jocelyn Lee

Often, the images captured by Brooklyn-based fine art photographer Jocyelyn Lee are as much about the person behind the lens as they are about the subjects of the photograph. Whether the picture is sharp or a blurred image coming into near focus on a piece of dust, Lee celebrates the world from her perspective. Each photograph captures intimate details and lush textures, and the story told is one of a fragile, soft and vulnerable world, ever-changing because the photographer herself is subject to the emotion and happenings of daily life.

Jocelyn Lee is currently adding to several ongoing series, Portraits and The Physical World. She is represented by Pace MacGill Gallery and teaches at Princeton University.

Josef Hoflehner

Australian photographer Josef Hoflehner‘s contrasted black and white world reads like a romantic jaunt around the world, from the mosques of the United Arabic Emirates to the streets of New York City to a beach in Borneo. And that gohstly imprint of Shanghai is gorgeous.

A book of Hoflehner’s airplane photographs can be purchased here.