The intimate imagery of New York-based photographer Richard Renaldi explores social and emotional themes. He is noted for his series of pictures of all-night partygoers taken in the early morning light (“Manhattan Sunday”) as well as producing self portraits with his partner in hotel rooms around the globe. Perhaps his best-known body of work though is “Touch Strangers,” which Renaldi has been working on since 2007. To create the simultaneously warm and uncomfortable pictures that comprise this series, Renaldi works on the street, totting a large-format 8-by-10-inch view camera and inviting strangers to physically interact while posing for a portrait. The resulting photographs are diverse, displaying comfort, intimacy, and surprise. Most basically, Renaldi questions social norms and standards that reserve moments of closeness for friends and family.
Renaldi grew up in Chicago and relocated to New York in 1986 to study photography at New York University. His work has been exhibited not only throughout the United States but also in Asia and Europe. The Aperture Foundation published Renaldi’s third monograph, Touching Strangers, in 2014.