Image of Charles H. Traub: Lunchtime
Release Date: 
October 4, 2015
Reviewed by: 

Lunchtime, time for lunch, take a breather, grab a bite, make a call, run an errand . . . Charles H. Traub, long time professional photographer and chair of the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York had an altogether different take on lunch. His recently published collection of photographs is the product of his time on the streets in Chicago and New York, Miami, Palm Beach, Paris, and Arles photographing with a Rolleiflex SL66 random people he encountered.

Lunchtime is people-watching at its best, a series of intimate, close-up portraits that were first exhibited in the early 1980s. Shot in the late seventies, these images are a fanciful, even humorous, collection of portraits that showcase the time. The seventies are reflected in all aspects of these portraits: hairstyles, makeup, eyeglasses, and clothing. Perusing this collection feels like a romp through an era. Traub is a gifted photographer whose skill and technique shine in composition. He establishes an exhilarating connection between subject and landscape.

In these days of rampant connection and omnipresent cellular devices, candid spontaneous photography is abundant. We are inundated today with photographs of random everyday things that are immediately and prominently passed along to the masses via social media. Back in the seventies, this penchant to snap and send didn’t exist.

Lunchtime is colorful people-watching. The photographic series is a time capsule that recalls a bygone era. Charles Traub has a keen artistic eye and a robust sense of humor. Readers will absolutely get a kick out of this inspired record of the seventies’ streets.