Wednesday, July 14, 2010

calvin black - 1903 - 1972

A folk artist who lived in California's Mojave Desert
he created more than 80 life-size female dolls,
each with its own personality, function, and costume.
He also built the "Bird Cage Theater,"
where the dolls perform and
sing in voices recorded by the artist.

Please go
and watch this 28 minute
film when you have time.

There are other artists you may want
to peruse at a later date.

When we had our coffeehouse,
Susie and Rob Surachi came to
play their music a few times.

They are now in a group called:

The Possum Trot Orchestra
and you can find them


Sam Juliano said...

This is a fantastic video! I must say you have unearthed an artist here I am unfamiliar with, but whose singular talent shouldn't be underestimated. I just completed some research on him. I will now check out The Possum Trot Orchestra.

No one can ever accuse you for beating a dead horse my friend!

ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! C.M.,and Sam Juliano,
What a very interesting folk artist and thanks, for sharing the links too!
DeeDee ;-D

Coffee Messiah said...

sam: There are so many folks attempting to make sense and feel a part of this world, it's always amazing to find people like this, out in the middle of nowhere.
The back roads are always a wonder.
Thanks for stopping by.

dd: Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

This film is remarkable! What an interesting soul. The desert has many treasures. -J

John said...

Terrific little film CM. It is amazing how many talented folks are out there doing their thing.

One of the other films on that website had a short film on the musician Sonny Terry who I saw live with Brownie McGhee at the Loew's State in NYC back in 1976. The occasion was the movie "Leadbelly", a bio flick on Huddie Ledbetter. After the film Terry and McGhee talked about Ledbetter and sang some of his songs.

Coffee Messiah said...

j: Glad you took a look. Some people just seem to do this and continue on, regardless. His wife and her memories were interesting also. That they also sold rocks and were rock hounds is another ghost of the past.

john: Thanks for taking a look. I saw them too at the Great American Music Hall in SF, as my friends Reilly and Maloney opened for them. They were great, as you mentioned. The concert you went to sounded pretty historical also.

Crafted by Bairbre Aine said...

What a great post! Thank you for sharing this. The Video was moving and interesting. I had never heard of this artist. Amazing how so often this is the case! I'm very grateful for your efforts in sharing this. I shall pass this on to several of my fellow artist mates!
cheers~ Bairbre Aine

Coffee Messiah said...

bairbre: Thanks for taking a look and for leaving a comment!

Just Another Film Buff said...


Yours has got to be one of the most unique blogs on art out there. I mean, I can give you a million movie blogs, but this is quite something.

I really find it difficult to appreciate forms of art such as Music and Painting. But you're pushing the boundaries even beyond. Keep doing the terrific work, Messiah.

P.S: How ever did the pseudonym come about: Coffee Messiah?!

Coffee Messiah said...

jafb: Thanks for stopping by and your comment.
Not so sure about your take on the blog, but appreciate it all the same.
We had a coffeehouse for 4 yrs and enjoy coffee. Also, there was a busy-ness in Seattle with that name that went out of business, and we found some ephemera we purchased on ebay from them. That's all.