Juan Cabana – Art of the mermaid

cabana_poloroidGAFF ART
The manufacture of sideshow artifacts or fake oddities out of the preserved body parts of real animals using taxidermy and prop-building techniques.

While suffering the effects of a Venti-size cup of coffee one late evening, I did what any self-respecting paranormal investigator does when not able to sleep: Log-on to eBay and search-out its freakiest offerings.

Among the haunted dolls, self-bending antique spoons and supernatural sex enhancing amulets, the remains of a real mermaid, or so the seller claimed, nearly made my computer monitor spontaneously combust. This long dead half human, half fish mutation was sprawled out on a beautiful seaside location as though she had just washed ashore. Gazing up at me, I could almost hear her plea, “Bid on me. Bid on me.” Also stunning was the immensely entertaining story of how she was “stumbled-upon and photographed as found”, ready to be revealed to the world. It was one creative package.

I have never been in the presence of a real mermaid, but suspect it would provide the same fishy aroma as this suspect story. A little digging around was in order. Not only did I discover the true story behind this mermaid, but along the way, a pop art hero: Juan Cabana, gaff sculpturer.

Among the more well known collectors of his mostly aquatic-centric sculptures are: Legendary game developer and space tourist, Richard Garriott; Pixar Animation’s Lee Unkrich; and internationally known artist, Hernan Bas.

I have since had the pleasure of tossing a few emails back and forth with this somewhat enigmatic artist.

Among his updates
:: My goal is to explore the beaches, starting at Satellite beach down to Fort Peirce. I took a Sea Monster with me to do some photos. Also, I am searching to find the best beaches with the largest waves. I am going to buy a surfboard.

:: I love ghost hunters. My mom has been seeing ghosts most of her life.”

:: Official Juan Cabana Web Site