MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department Chair Charles Traub was recently interviewed in The Brooklyn Rail about his body of work and his recent exhibition “Object of My Creation: Photographs 1967 – 1990” at Gitterman Gallery in New York. Traub spoke with Rail publisher Phong Bui about his beginnings as an English major, his experiences in the Peace Corps and later in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and how he came to discover photography and study with the legendary Aaron Siskind, who became his mentor. Traub goes on to discuss his time as a graduate student, the evolution of his photographic practice and how he came to establish the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at SVA President David Rhodes’ request.
Traub’s longstanding commitment to image-making is clear. “Out of that passion came an obligation to champion the mission of photography as a creative form,” he says, referring back to a time when the medium was often marginalized . “It had to be brought to the forefront, to be recognized as a respectable art form, not to be a footnote in an art history text as it has always been. It needed to become the center of dialogue in the new art world.”