The Rooster – Roberto Fabelo

“De madrugada al Rocío” = “From dawn to Dew”

The rich imagination of Cuban artist Roberto Fabelo is brilliantly expressed in this large canvas, featuring one of his totemic animals, the bird.

In this painting titled “De madrugada al Rocío” (2009), two children ride a huge rooster whose colorful plumage shines against an intensely lit cobalt blue sky. Other birds flutter around them in the magical hour of dawn, alluding to the title. At their feet, dreamlike vegetation shines as well. This artwork is in line with Fabelo’s other works, especially his famous “Viaje Fantástico” (2012), where a woman also migrates on a chicken. The play of scales, vivid palette, expressive charge, and surrealist legacy are combined in this oil painting, suggesting infinite readings that allow us to cross reality and enter the world of dreams.

For Fabelo, the rooster symbolizes masculinity, which leads the artist to often satirize the idea of “machismo,” associated in popular culture with bravery. What interests him is to tame that image, showing female figures riding and dominating it.

Born in 1950 in Camagüey, Cuba, Fabelo is a painter, sculptor, draftsman, and illustrator who studied at the National School of Art and the Higher Institute of Art in Havana. Throughout his career, he has been awarded numerous prizes for his art, including the National Culture Medallion (Cuba), the Alejo Carpentier Medallion, first place in the 11th International Drawing Biennial in the UK, first place in the First Ibero-American Watercolor Biennial in Viña del Mar, Chile, and a UNESCO prize for the promotion of Fine Arts. In 1984, Fabelo was recognized in the first Havana Biennial.

His work has been exhibited in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 500 group exhibitions in countries such as Switzerland, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Today, his work is found in important private collections and in places of great artistic and cultural interest such as the Museum of Havana or the Casa Cortes Foundation in Puerto Rico, among many others.

Now: Kennedy Center, Washington and Conde Duque, Madrid. See: HERE