Richard Renaldi (http://renaldi.com/) was born in Chicago in 1968. He received a BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. He is represented by Benrubi Gallery in New York and Robert Morat Galerie in Berlin. Five monographs of his work have been published, including Richard Renaldi: Figure and Ground (Aperture, 2006); Fall River Boys (Charles Lane Press, 2009); Touching Strangers (Aperture, 2014); Manhattan Sunday (Aperture, 2016); I Want Your Love (Super Labo, 2018). He was the recipient of a 2015 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Scheduled to Teach
LACP Interviews Richard Renaldi
LACP asks Richard Renaldi ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography.
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Richard Renaldi: A “photographer’s photographer”. I think of myself as creating work that is both outward and inward looking. I can’t and won’t do only one style of photography or one subject matter ad nauseam.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
RR: I have been making photographs since 1984.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
RR: I received my educational training from Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, New York University Tisch School of the Arts in New York, and Salzburg College in Salzburg, Austria. The other “training” has came from life, work, relationships, and travel.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
RR: I don’t think I ever knew that in a clear cut way but I enjoy making things and love photography. It’s hard to imagine not doing something creative with my limited time here. In the moments where I haven’t been making work I end up feeling quite restless and the only way to alleviate that is to make art.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
RR: No I don’t think so, however I have transferred my energies from one focus to another. Such as pursuing more teaching opportunities and less editorial.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
RR: That depends on how you define sacrifice. At a young age I gave up an opportunity to become a part of a generational family business but it was never something I wanted so how can that be a sacrifice?
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
RR: So so much! Experience, Adventure, Friends, Community, a Sense of Self.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
RR: “Storytelling Through Pictures,” a workshop about creating a narrative to your work.
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
RR: I love engaging with the students about their work. It’s particularly rewarding when they are receptive to advise and incorporate what they gained from those classroom discussions into their work.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
RR: A career in photography and the arts, any of them is really difficult. I would say that it is valuable to develop the skills to wear many different hats. A mixture of assignments, teaching, commissions, applying for residencies and grants, and commercial work all can contribute towards earning a living. It’s important to know there will be highs and lows, especially in the insecure era we find ourselves in. Most important however is finding your voice and honoring it. Listening to the work you are making and nurturing it for its own sake not necessarily in the pursuit of some immediate goal.