A student of Aaron Siskind’s at the Institute of Design in the late 1960s, Charles H. Traub has been photographing for over 45 years. After completing his graduate studies in 1971, Traub made three well known series of vignetted black and white images in Chicago: Beach, Street and Parties. In 1976 Traub began his first major body of work in color, Street Portraits, which he continued after moving to New York City in 1978. For the past 40 years, he has worked exclusively in color and was an early proponent of digital imagery.
Unlike much of the photography in contemporary art today, Traub’s images are “observations in the real world”. They thus seem to be a reaction against the current vogue in image making that is fictive, directional or constructed. It is Traub’s belief that “the things that happen in everyday life are so improbable and amazing that they defy imagination.” He finds this pure discovery the ultimate reward.
Traub is the chairperson of the MFA program in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. He is also a co-founder of the exhibition Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs and was the director of Light Gallery in the late 1970s.