Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jorge Selaron: 1947-2013

Today, marks the end of the "mad and singular dream" of Jorge Selaron. He was found dead on the steps that he created in Rio de Janerio on January 10, 2013. According to Brazilian reports, the artist may have been suffering from depression following a falling out between himself and a former colleague. In recent interviews, he mentioned receiving threats from the colleague and a conflict between them over proceeds from the sale of his paintings. Selaron sold paintings to support himself and continue work on the staircase. In reports, neighbors have suggested that the artist may have ended his own life, but at this time the police are not ruling out any possibilities.

His work on the staircase has been ongoing for more than 20 years, and this brings a sad end to the work that has helped transform the Lapa neighborhood. Here is the photo that I took of him while here

Jorge Selarón, creator and artist behind the Escadaria Selarón from September 16th, 2012. 

From the National Post's Article:
The candy-colored steps of a staircase in Rio’s bohemian neighborhood of Lapa were the life work of Chilean artist Jorge Selaron, and a symbol of his adopted city. On this gray, rainy Thursday, they became his memorial.
The painter who turned the 215 steps into a kaleidoscope of brightly hued tiles from all over the world, transforming a dingy, urine-scented alley and stairs into a rambunctious “tribute to the Brazilian people,” was found dead on the very staircase.
Rio de Janeiro police found his body front of his house, one of the humble colonials that face the staircase as it ascends into the St. Teresa Convent above. Visitors dropped flowers and tried to light candles in the blustery weather on his doorstep.
Investigators would not disclose the cause of death but are not discarding murder. Calls for additional comment from police were not promptly returned.
On YouTube, there is also three part a documentary of his life:
 Also: Part 2 & Part 3 of the documentary.

[via National Post]
[via iG]
[via Jornal do Brazil]
[via La Razon]

After the break, more photos from the staircase. You can read my original post on the staircase here: The Sights of Rio de Janerio Part 2

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