In the Still Life.
Photographs by Charles Traub. Introduction by Luigi Ballerini.
Quantuck Lane Press, New York, 2004. 128 pp., 110 color illustrations, 8x8".
The snapshots that make up this provocative book were taken “on the fly,” the by-product of twenty years of Charles Traub’s exotic travel and busy life. They were left in a plastic box for years. Recently Traub’s new interest in still life painting turned his attention back to the saved images which themselves were still lifes, using the frame to bar from the image any temptation that might jeopardize pictorial excitement. Things happen, people collide and improbably juxtapositions are snapped at a fraction of a second. Traub is quire sure that his encounters with the absurdities of our everyday lives, whether in Tokyo or Rio, New York or Tel Aviv are far more interesting than anything that might be contrived for the camera’s lens. Here they are “still lives”, frozen moments on the street, often in poignant or ironic pairs that comment on each other and broaden the moments in our minds.
LUIGI BALLERINI is a poet, translator and essayist. Among his latest publications are Uno monta la luna, and an edition of Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
CHARLES TRAUB is chairperson of the MFA program in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. He is a co-founder of the exhibition here is new york: a democracy of photographs which received the Brendan Gill Award and the ICP Cornell Capa Infinity Award. He has had many one-person exhibitions in major galleries and museums throughout the world and is represented in photography’s most important collections. Among his many books are Beach, Italy Observed, and An Angler’s Album.
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