Touching Strangers is an ongoing work by photographer Richard Renaldi wherein he meets two or more people on the street who are strangers to each other and then asks them to pose for a photograph with the only stipulation being they must make physical contact in some way.
I undertook Touching Strangers as a means of bringing new complexity to the art of portrait-making. My objective was to introduce an unpredictable variable in a very traditional photographic formula; to create a spontaneous and fleeting relationship between complete strangers in front of my 8×10 camera.
It’s interesting to catch the tell-tale signs of unease in some of the portraits: the willingness to make contact with the arms, but not the palms of the hand, or the clenched fist instead of a firmly grasped shoulder. And yet many of the photos seem totally uninhibited as if the individuals had been friends for years. (thnx, Megan)
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!