Dax Tran-Caffee

Dax Tran-Caffee

Originally trained as a painter, but having bounced around in every discipline from music to movement, Dax Tran-Caffee stumbled into the art of puppetry in 2007 and the practice has since consumed him. A believer in quick-and-dirty methods of achieving the most results, Dax champions cardboard and its penchant for broad, dramatic constructions.

Though the intricacy and scale of some of his puppet apparatuses require the use of other materials salvaged from dumpsters, he always finishes the job with a cardboard-and-glue shell in the tradition of the venerable Bread & Puppet theater. Recently he has also been applying cardboard to fine art, attempting to actualize the figures from his previous surrealist watercolors.

Dax's puppetry makes regular appearances with the Corpus Callosum music & performance ensemble, for which he also plays accordion. In 2010 he presented his largest show to date, the Museum Proper, a street-festival performance wherein a 12-foot tall monster confronts the net of a museum collector. Dax has worked with Redmoon Theater in Chicago, was a member of the Blair Thomas & Co. chamber puppet theater in Chicago, and holds a BFA in painting from the California College of Arts & Crafts and an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Dax's puppet