The name Richard Renaldi has been coming up in my Fall River Google alerts, for quite some time. It wasn't until yesterday that I clicked on one of the Renaldi updates, and am very glad I did.
In 2000, and for many subsequent years, artist Richard Renaldi came to Fall River to photograph our mills but was inspired by our people to take his work in a somewhat different direction. Renaldi wanted to capture the image of coming of age in a town with not alot of opportunity. His 184 page book with 89 images is available at Charles Lane Press .
From a review by 5B4 (a great read if you have the time)
An interview with the artist, Richard Renaldi:
when I see the young man Erik in plate 32 with his straightforward glare with one hand on a baby stroller you know that that new responsibility will have a profound effect on what risks, and ultimately what decisions, he makes. Each person may start with the potential to do anything as we are told, but the possibilities narrow greatly with even the slightest of choices.
Portrait after portrait, we look upon the faces and clothing and momentarily ask about their futures; which of them will leave the street corner, which will become artists, which will work passionless jobs and which will find their calling, which will learn to love life and which will learn to hate it.
The landscapes in Fall River Boys describe not a town of horrible circumstance but simply of the ordinary. It is not affluent but middle working class and perhaps mind-numbing. As Michael Cunningham who penned the absolutely wonderful introduction tells us, Fall River's motto is 'We Try' - a motto which seems to be apologizing for itself and preparing for disappointment. Renaldi gives just enough of the surroundings for us to get a sense of the industry and perhaps the limiting opportunity for those who remain. Limiting as it may appear, Renaldi's view camera also ups the ante with its lush descriptions that render even the most dreary of industrial site in its moment of beauty.
Richard Renaldi at Jackson Fine Art from Art Relish on Vimeo.