AI: Fabulous Fabelo

Robert Fabelo is an internationally renowned Cuban artist. He has a varied portfolio, but today we’re going to talk about his mermaids.

Fabelo has produced dozens of works depicting mermaids. Several images are included after the break. Somewhat NSFW.

Why are we looking at these? Well, first, because a recent de-lurker asked us to. Also, because I can’t find a consensus on their interpretation. What little I’ve found has been in rather stark disagreement with itself. So put your skeptic hats on and be critical thinking critics.

How can we interpret the mermaids of Robert Fabelo? Are they misogynist objectification? Feminist iconography? Socio-political commentary? The expression of an unusual fetish? A comment on his mother-in-law’s cooking?


Previous post

Monday Lab Track: Big Bang Theory Theme

Next post

Ladylike lessons on geek chic



Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. October 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I love his work but always thought he objectified women. Then I noticed that most of his earlier works are beautiful and young mermaids, and lately he’s been adding older mermaids (see icon here!).

    As for political commentary: no. None. He can’t. He’s on the inside in Cuban society and he just can’t say anything. Social commentary: maybe.

  2. October 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    It’s easy to see the mermaids as an objectification, as they’re all topless. However most of them are in non-sexualized positions and are deformed (in that they have tails).

    I wonder if there is a commentary running there, or if he just like boobies and fish tails.

    What I really want to know about is the series with the mermaids as food: the ones where they’re on plates with cutlery around them… and a rhinoceros.

  3. October 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

    He def. likes the boobies – there’s not a flat chested mermaid in the bunch.

    I’ve wondered about the stuff they wear. It seems like the helmets don’t come off and the clothing is their skin.

Leave a reply