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Richard Renaldi
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Since 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, 8-by-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 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.
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"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.--Anna Altman "The New York Times Book Review "

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