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Hardcover, 9 x 11.5 in. / 120 pgs / 71 color.

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ISBN 9781597112499 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $55.00

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New York
Aperture Gallery, 04/14

Seattle, WA
Photographic Center Northwest, 09/14

Renaldi creates spontaneous, fleeting relationships for the camera, often pushing his subjects beyond their comfort levels



Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers

Introduction by Teju Cole.

Richard Renaldi: Touching StrangersSince 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs that involve approaching and asking complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street with a large format eight-by-ten-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 usually taught to reserve 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. These relationships may only last for the moment the shutter is released, but the resulting photographs are moving and provocative, and raise profound questions about the possibilities for positive human connection in a diverse society. Following an extremely successful Kickstarter effort which raised nine times its goal, Touching Strangers will have an extensive social media campaign. Visit touchingstrangers.org for more information.
Richard Renaldi (born 1968) graduated from New York University with a BFA in photography in 1990. He has presented solo exhibitions both in the United States and abroad, including at Fotografins Hus, Stockholm; Robert Morat Galerie, Hamburg, Germany; and Yossi Milo Gallery, New York. Renaldi’s work has also appeared in group exhibitions, including Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003). Touching Strangers is Renaldi’s third book, following Figure and Ground (Aperture, 2006) and Fall River Boys (Charles Lane Press, 2009).

Featured image is reproduced from Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers.


TIME Lightbox

Erik Tanner

Often posing his subjects in a way one might for family or couple photos, Renaldi attempts to capture an “implied narrative,” bringing a new complexity to portrait-making and visual storytelling.

The New York Times Lens Blog

John Leland

The photographer Richard Renaldi is a matchmaker for tense times.

The Huffington Post

Priscilla Frank

Renaldi's unusual photographic formula reveals the unlikely ways the body and the heart can influence each other.

CBS News

Steve Hartman

Most photographers capture life as it is, but in these strangers, Richard Renaldi has captured something much more ethereal and elusive. He shows us humanity as it could be—as most of us wish it would be—and as it was, at least for those one fleeting moments in time.


Canbra Hodsdon

The project began in 2007 when Renaldi began approaching total strangers and asked to photograph them physically interacting with each other. The result was images that display the human tendency toward tenderness and affection than can be found even between complete strangers.

TIME LightBox

Renaldi's bold and revealing new book is the culmination of 6 years worth of portraits showing complete strangers posing in intimate and awkwardly affectionate positions and offer a refreshing perspective on the question of modern detachment.


Allison Meier

...the collection has a captivating strangeness to it that reveals the sensitivity we have about each other’s skin.

The New York Times Book Review

Anna Altman

“Touching Strangers,” a monograph by the Chicago-born photographer Richard Renaldi, would have fit nicely as a capstone for Bussard’s case studies, as it pushes the notion of street photography even further. Renaldi meets strangers on the street and asks them to touch or embrace one another; he then photographs these arrangements as group portraits.

What makes Renaldi’s photographs thrilling is that, even knowing his strategy, the viewer can’t help fabricating a story about the subjects’ relationship. We weave narratives around them — who they are, the unlikely tenderness that might exist between strangers.

American Photo

Debbie Grossman

Renaldi pairs disparate people-in terms of culture, religion, and dress-and implores them to embrace one another. We see how a forced interaction can break down boundaries created by stereotpyes and subcultures.

Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers