For his most recent project and the resulting publication, Manhattan Sunday, photographer Richard Renaldi turned his lens upon the denizens and habitués of the titular city’s nightlife subculture. Having himself come of age as a young gay man in the thriving club scene of 1980s New York City, Renaldi sough to celebrate the characters and landscapes that continue to define nightlife subculture while also eulogizing what many now see as closed chapter for the city. For Renaldi, the choice to photograph both his subjects and cityscapes during the liminal hours when Saturday night becomes Sunday morning symbolically gestured toward the fleeting nature not only of the joy seeker but also the growing disappearance of the very culture that has allowed it to thrive. In the wake of tragedies like those at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, the importance of ensuring the vitality of safe spaces for marginalized communities to gather has never before been more important. Indeed, as the saying perhaps all too aptly goes, it’s always darkest before dawn.
Photography by Richard Renaldi
All images from Manhattan Sunday. Photographs by Richard Renaldi ($65, Aperture, 2016)