"Richard RENALDI is a photographer in love with looking. He searches for the brief encounter, that fleeting moment when a stranger opens his life to him and, consequently, to the viewer. His trust in the descriptive and empathic ability of the camera verges on that of his nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century predecessors. Can we gain insight into the person in front of us simply by staring fixedly into his face, by capturing his figure in crisp detail on film? Richard RENALDI leads us to believe, despite rumor to the contrary, we just might.
Throughout his work, Richard RENALDI melds two classic photographic genres - portrait and landscape - into a single descriptive frame that speaks as much to a sense of the individuals before the lens as it does to the space they inhabit. The omnivorous film-plane of Richard RENALDI's 8-by-10 camera embraces not only the individuals directly in front of it, but the environment that encompasses them as well. He photographs not only individuals we might traditionally view as Americans - a Britney Spears look-alike toting a Louis Vuitton bag through a Greyhound bus terminal, or a rodeo cowboy with elbows akimbo, hands on belt buckle, standing determinedly against the dirt-filled horizon - but also those we need to more readily consider as part of our identity. In New Jersey, Richard RENALDI photographs a woman in a burqa and Timberland boots set against the faded geometry of a Newark street; in Los Angeles, a transgender girl works the counter of a fast food joint, lit in the sad-glamorous glow of fluorescent light. If there is truly a new center to the American social landscape, it can be found here, in Richard RENALDI's precisely rendered portraits." (© Aperture, 2012)
- HC, 25 x 29 cm., 156 pp.