Monday, 09. October 2006
The Mermaids of Juan Cabana
We are fascinated by mermaids because they represent the unknown, the mystical, and the dangerous predator behind a graceful face. Mermaids have captured our interest in the same way in which they snared the hearts of sailors, dizzying us and disorienting us, pulling us under the turquoise waves.
Mermaids exist in the twilight place between land and sea, in the psychological intertidal zone between life-giver and life-taker. Wanton, seductive and alluring, these amphibious goddesses of classical myth toy unabashedly with a man’s affections, offering him sweetness yet bringing only death. The paintings of the pre-Raphaelites portray mermaids as lovely maidens with a silvery aquatic tail, who comb their luxurious tresses in serene repose along a placid shore, but the mermaids of old were neither so innocent nor demure. With the sultry curve of their breasts and the dulcet darkness of their dreamy eyes, those half-forgotten ocean deities promised to reveal the secrets of the unattainable fathoms, only to drown men with their savage affection.
|Many of the oldest stories claim that the merfolk have no tongues, yet this doesn’t keep them from casting their spell over the poor unfortunate who falls in love with them; one tale tells of a fisherman’s daughter who becomes infatuated with a merman but, when she discovers that he can never proclaim his love for her, she follows him into the ocean, only to perish.|
Some claim that mermaids still sing their wordless melodies, playing amongst the waters and the waves. Juan Cabana, wandering the lonely shores of secluded beaches, has often found the mortal remains of these creatures. In life, they swim below the surface and rarely rise from the crushing deep, but upon death, the merciless storms cast their bodies up from the dark waters to deposit them on the white sand. Juan knows the distant coves where the currents bring them, and he gathers their remains with the hope of preserving them, honoring them, and showing humanity that we are not the only intelligent species on this beautiful planet. These teratisms of terrible beauty, wild and exotic, lie beyond the taint of human civilisation. They live in harmony with their aquatic environment, and Juan's respect for them has resulted in a never-ending search for mermaids and sea monsters around the world.
The Mermaids of Juan Cabana
I assure you that they are art, maybe macabre art.
Artist Juan Cabana, using the remains of dead fish and assorted animals as his medium, creates fantastic new lifeforms for people to enjoy today. His life-like creations reflect his interest in Cryptozoology, Anthropology and Science Fiction. Currently, sea monsters and mermaids are his central focus. Juan hopes to someday have the world’s largest sea creature museum.
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