Richard Renaldi

Richard renaldiSince 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.

This exhibition coincides with the launch of Renaldi’s book Touching Strangers and includes thirty-five photographs from the series, curated by Ann Pallesen, director of Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle (where the exhibition will tour following its presentation at Aperture Gallery).

About Richard Renaldi

Richard Renaldi (born in Chicago, 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, New York (2003). Touching Strangers is Renaldi’s third book, following Figure and Ground (Aperture, 2006), and Fall River Boys (2009).

Lou Krueger

Lou KreugerLou Krueger's  goal is to create  magic with his artwork, be an engine of inspiration in the lives of his students, and find grace with his life.


"I’ve been making art for forty years, and teaching for thirty-four. I’m one of the fortunate ones, I love what I do  and I  believe that my best work is still in front of me." LK


Lou Krueger received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northern Illinois University, with a BFA in Metals, 1970, and his MFA in Photography, 1976. During the past thirty years he has taught photography at NIU, Elgin Community College, Syracuse University, and currently Bowling Green State University. He was one of the co-founders of the Syracuse University art photography program, served as the Chair of Art Media Studies (SU), as an Assistant Dean of Visual and Performing Arts (SU), and most recently as the Director of the School of Art at Bowling Green State University.


Conceptually his creative work, narrative fantasy, masquerades as reality with an emphasis on the existentially absurd; technically his research agenda focuses on issues of photographic illusion, experimental color photography, and alternative/pinhole cameras. His photographs, drawings and paintings have been exhibited nationally.

Susan Silas

Susan SilasSusan Silas’s parents, both Hungarian Jews, immigrated to the United States in 1949 after surviving World War II — her father in slave labor camps and her mother in a Budapest ghetto. As a child, she learned about their experiences by eavesdropping on their evening gatherings with fellow survivors when she was supposed to be asleep.

Her artworks, invariably imprinted by the Shoah, are at once acts of remembrance and confrontations with nothingness. Her most ambitious project, Helmbrechts walk (1998–2003), retraces the route taken by 580 female Jewish prisoners on a forced march from the Helmbrechts concentration camp in Germany to Czechoslovakia in the closing weeks of the war. Silas began her commemorative walk, which took 22 days, on April 13, 1998, the 53rd anniversary of the march, documenting the journey in video, photography, and writing.

For her ongoing series, found birds, which she began in 2000, the artist picks up dead birds that she comes across in city streets or parks and carries them to her studio, where she photographs them against a white backdrop, Avedon-style, in progressive states of decay. The images are astonishingly beautiful in their precision of detail and modulation of color; they are also piteous and often repulsive, aiming squarely at the deadness of the thing.

By employing photographic techniques usually reserved for fashion models or luxury goods, Silas, who is also a regular contributor to Hyperallergic’s daily edition, achieves an unsettling dichotomy between allure and aversion. The rich colors and clean lines seduce us into gazing upon the image of a once-living thing, an embrace that feels both privileged — coming, as it does, within a slice of time extending beyond the life of the bird — and indecent.

Still, Silas seems less intent on disconcerting the viewer than on using the incitement of beauty to drive home a sense of oblivion: that the birds, no matter how gorgeously plumed, are “dead as earth,” as Lear said of Cordelia.

The formal elegance and merciless eye of the found birds series carry over into love in the ruins; sex over 50.

The images of love in the ruins, another ongoing project (since 2003) described on Silas’s website as “a personal diary of sex and sensuality […] about the resilience and the decay of the aging body,” are illuminated with the same ambient light found in the bird photos and the self-portraits. The subject is Silas and her husband, a powerful-looking, barrel-chested man, in the act of making love.

Shot against white walls and white sheets with pale gray stripes, the photographs convey a contained sense of action, with the limbs and torsos forming tight geometric, and at times symmetric, shapes. The classicizing impulse of the composition is countered by the rough details of the lovers’ mature bodies: graceless patches of hair, sagging stretches of skin, constellations of burst varicose veins.

Like the artworks of John Coplans (1920–2003), who started photographing his own naked body when he turned 60, Silas’s combinations of structural rigor and unflattering reality accentuate the humanity underlying historical formulations of the ideal. At the same time, they subvert the notion of the ideal by infusing it with unvarnished intimations of mortality.

Ellen Cantor

Ellen CantorEllen Cantor is a photographer who creates an entirely different reality in her photos. As she says in her artist statement,

Reality has nothing to do with external form, but with the idea, the essence of thing.” Brancusi 

"I search for the seen among the unseen. Always looking to discover and reveal the hidden nuances of life,  I seek to discover and reveal that which may be overlooked. My photos are visual meditations to share with you.

Through my photography, I hope to reveal my unique perception of the world. Whether photographing the natural world or our manmade environment, I am looking for images that transcend the moment.  My photographs are designed to transport the viewer from the mundane to the exquisite by capturing the hidden nuances of life.The beauty and diversity of the colors around us are a source of inspiration in my work and allow me to express my wonder about our world. 

I often shoot part of the subject, use soft focus, move the camera, use a slow shutter speed, shoot multiple images or create composites. By experimenting with technique, I capture the chance encounters of life. Much of formal photography is “getting the right picture.” I want to find that which is unknown and unseen."

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter 5305521283_62071efc90_bAlthough Edward Steichen exhibited some of Saul Leiter’s color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, for forty years afterwards they remained virtually unknown to the art world. Leiter moved to New York in 1946 intending to be a painter and through his friendship with the abstract expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart he quickly recognized the creative potential of photography. Though he continued to paint, exhibiting alongside Philip Guston and Willem de Kooning, Leiter’s camera became — like an extension of his arm and mind — an ever-present interpreter of life in the metropolis.

The semi-mythical notion of the ‘New York street photographer’ was born at the same time, in the late-1940s. But Leiter’s sensibility — comparable to the European intimism of Bonnard, a painter he greatly admires — placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternative way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances.

None of Leiter’s contemporaries, with the single and partial exception of Helen Levitt, assembled a comparable body of work in color. The lyricism and intensity of his vision come into fullest play in his eloquent handling of color: to the rapid recording of the spontaneous unfolding of life on the street, Leiter adds an unconventional sense of form and a brilliantly improvisational, and frequently almost abstract, use of found colors and tones. Leiter’s visual language of fragmentation, ambiguity and contingency is evoked in Saul Leiter: Early Color by one hundred subtle, painterly images that stretched the boundaries of photography in the second half of the twentieth-century. ( source : steidl )

Lorna Barnshaw

Lorna BarnshawPassionate about the world of photography, Lorna Barnshaw is devoted to celluloid film, but more explicitly to camera-less techniques. She offers an usual medium - 3D printing - to create her art.

“Photographers were supposed to do more than just see the world as it is…they were to create interest, by new visual decisions.” (Sontag., 1979)

Barnshaw creates through a means of destruction, employing the material nature of celluloid film that allows it burn, blister, mark and contort, producing abstract still and moving images. By utilizing some sensitive compounds it became possible to create true motion from a singular image, as opposed to the illusion of motion generated by a series of images propelled at 24fps. In the ‘Still Movement’ series, motion was created with an application of wax that melted and morphed with the heat generated from the lamp of a slide projector.

The work explores the current coexistence of analogue and digital mediums in both film and photography. Taking advantage of the materiality of celluloid film and the ethereal elements of digital, the two are united portraying a sense of nostalgia whilst welcoming the future of technology. True motion can only exist in reality or analogue format but it is digital that enables the work to exist everywhere. Key influences include artist, Tacita Dean and filmmaker, George Melies.

In her recent series she explores the latest innovations in 3D printing and augmented reality that  morph the human form to become even more realistic and somehow magical. Mask-like human face sculptures form the ‘Replicants’ series. The series is inspired by creating digital simulacrums of the physical world. Barnhaw’s passion for the convergence of digital art and sculpting has led her to created a triptych of 3D Prints that represent human faces. Each facial sculpture has a different aesthetic depending on the different computer applications and software used in its creation, such as Autodesk, 3D scanning or computer animation. “I interfered with the software as little as possible, comparing the digital attempts at replicating reality”, Barnshaw expresses in her website.

Jim Read

Jim ReadPhotographic Artist Jim Read from Derbyshire in the UK has been a lifelong autodidact. Read creates photographs (he is clear to say "Make and not shoot. Shots come out of guns") and then puts them together into one full image.

"I've alway been the late learner having been self taught it takes longer for the light to dawn especially the creative one. I was scared as well the blank white screen is just as intimidating as a piece of paper or canvas. I had listened to D. Hockney bang on about copying on Radio 4 everytime he came back home and now Tracey Emin's at it as well. They gave me a push, why shouldn't I try to copy what others do? So I started and looked and looked at Catherine McIntyres images not only to see what she'd done but how as well.  Gradually I moved away fom the copying and used the Derbyshire countryside around me to make images that really pleased me. Where I am at the moment is making stuff that looks 'real' but is actually composed of many layers brought together in harmony. Years ago I came across the work of Annie W Brigman I've liked the figurative genre of image making ever since. I use a covered figure in my images to allow the model to pose in ways that are not restricted by connotations of gender and age, the figure thus clad becomes just that a figure within the image."
The image you see here is called 'Permeable light' and consists of four photographs merged together in harmony. The land under all three is permeated by shafts and tunnels some dating back to the Roman occupation.  They follow the seams of lead to be found all over the area, the spoil from their endeavours became footpaths and ideal places to impose a figure in the landscape. Time appears both to stand still here and at the same time race through its history.

Chris Soria

Chris soriaChris Soria is a fine artist who works in photomontage, painting, and ephemeral sculpture.

Soria's photomontages consist of layered photographs, cut and pasted in plexiglass. His work chronicles the decay of abandoned factories and explores the transformation of neglected industry. In a series of time-lapsing documentary works, Soria collages thousands of photographs to rebuild fallen complexes, reconstructing locations and revealing the succession of nature over time as they transform in the changing seasons and weather. Where and when pluralize, time separates, space is replaced, and everything becomes an record of what is past.

A muralist and public artist, Soria has created large scale murals and public works of art for numerous institutions, schools, universities, and private and public spaces internationally. As an educator, Soria is a Lead Artist with Groundswell, bringing together artists, youth, and community organizations, using art as a tool for social change. Email Chris Soria at [email protected] .

Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen Roger Ballen was born in New York City, New York, USA in 1950. He has lived in Johannesburg since the 1970s. Beginning by documenting the small dorps or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen starting photographing the inhabitants of these places in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He transformative work capture an almost Diane Arbus effect on his subjects. They draw you in but can often repel.

"I have been shooting black and white film for nearly fifty years now. I believe I am part of the last generation that will grow up with this media. Black and White is a very minimalist art form and unlike color photographs does not pretend to mimic the world in a manner similar to the way the human eye might perceive. Black and White is essentially an abstract way to interpret and transform what one might refer to as reality. My purpose in taking photographs over the past forty years has ultimately been about defining myself. It has been fundamentally a psychological and existential journey. If an artist is one who spends his life trying to define his being, I guess I would have to call myself an artist."

William Eggleston

William egglestonWilliam Eggleston  is an American photographer. He is widely credited with increasing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium to display in art galleries. his work assumes a neutral gaze from commonplace subjects: a farmer's muddy Ford truck, a red ceiling in a friend's house, the contents of his own refrigerator. In his work, Eggleston photographs "democratically"--literally photographing the world around him. His large-format prints monumentalize everyday subjects, everything is equally important; every detail deserves attention.

A native Southerner raised on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, Eggleston has created a singular portrait of his native South since the late 1960s. After discovering photography in the early 1960s, he abandoned a traditional education and instead learned from photographically illustrated books by Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Frank. Although he began his career making black-and-white images, he soon abandoned them to experiment with color technology to record experiences in more sensual and accurate terms at a time when color photography was largely confined to commercial advertising. In 1976 with the support of John Szarkowski, the influential photography historian, critic, and curator, Eggleston mounted "Color Photographs" a now famous exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Eggleston's Guide , in which Szarkowski called Eggleston's photographs "perfect," accompanied this groundbreaking one-person show that established his reputation as a pioneer of color photography. His subjects were mundane, everyday, often trivial, so that the real subject was seen to be color itself. These images helped establish Eggleston as one of the first non-commercial photographers working in color and inspired a new generation of photographers, as well as filmmakers.