All Photos: Charles Traubs.
Charles Traub is an Amerian photographer from Louisville, Kentucky. I had never heard of this photographer until about a year and a half ago when I saw some photos from his recent book titled ‘Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s.’ At that moment, and still in this moment, I had a long burning romance with this country shaped like a boot and from the photographs I could tell Traub did too. I ordered the book without hesitation. It’s one of my favorites in my collection and I revisit it often. Traub travelled frequently to Italy in the 80s shooting what might be classified as tourist shots taken with a trained eye. The streetscapes, the people, the interaction of the two were a fascination to him. You can hear the faint siren call that drew him so frequently to these Italian streets in the photos. They’re quite flaneur-esque, though they would come across more voyeuristic if their wasn’t such a naive excitement to them. What I love is all the colors and the silhouettes of the people and their clothing as they meet the ancient streets in Rome, Florence, Naples. I don’t believe these photos were intended to be particularly fashionable but they are, very much so, in the way that fashion can be evoked in an image without any clothing. In this instance there are clothing and clothed people in the images (even if at times sparingly so) but it’s the colors, the shapes, the postures, the panache over the clothes themselves that makes Traub’s photographs chic.