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Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:31 PM

Artist found burned to death on top of his masterpiece

CBS/AP/ January 11, 2013, 5:01 PM
Artist found burned to death on top of his masterpiece


RIO DE JANEIRO Artist Jorge Selaron may have taken his own life by setting himself on fire on the very steps of his masterpiece, a brilliantly colored public staircase that became a symbol of Rio de Janeiro, the homicide police chief said Friday.

The body of Selaron, a Chilean who had adopted Rio as his home, was found early Thursday morning lying charred on the steps he had covered in a rainbow of bright tiles from all over the world as a tribute to the Brazilian people.

With no help from the city, Selaron began decorating the staircase in Lapa with brightly colored tiles in 1990. Soon people were bringing him tiles from all over the world to help complete the project.

The stairs, his life's work, were declared city patrimony in 2005, when Selaron was made an honorary carioca, as Rio residents are called. The steps have been featured in Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful" and U2's "Walk On" music videos, as well as part of the video that Brazil made for their 2016 Olympic bid.

More:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57563590/

5 replies, 1873 views

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Reply Artist found burned to death on top of his masterpiece (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
bitchkitty Jan 2013 #1
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #2
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #3
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #4
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:41 PM

1. How very bizarre and tragic.

The steps are incredible, aren't they?

The article doesn't outright say suicide, but it looks like that is the case. He had been asking for help to end his life. Brilliance, sadly, often comes with these terrible mood swings - Vincent Van Gogh and his ear come to mind.

But it also says that they haven't entirely ruled out foul play - evidently his companion/heir was making threats, and had attacked a coworker.

In any case, rest in peace, Jorge Selaron. Your torment is over.

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:05 PM

2. I'm going to look for more information and images of his art when I get some time

late tonight or sometime.

I hate whar happened to him, and only wish we had known of him earlier.

Can't believe how wonderful his stairs are. They will be cherished for ages.

I agree with you: it's good he doesn't have to suffer any longer.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:02 PM

3. Artist found dead on Rio mosaic staircase he spent 20 years creating

Artist found dead on Rio mosaic staircase he spent 20 years creating

Jorge Selarón created one of city's most distinctive landmarks by decorating steps with brightly coloured tiles and mirrors

Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro
The Guardian, Thursday 10 January 2013 10.58 EST



Chilean artist Jorge Selarón on the stairs he spent 20 years decorating.
Photograph: Antonio Scorza/AFP

The ceramic street artist who created one of Rio de Janeiro's most distinctive landmarks was found dead on Thursday on the spectacular mosaic staircase in Lapa that he decorated with brightly coloured tiles and mirrors over more than two decades.

Jorge Selarón, a Chilean artist who transformed the 215 steps of the Convent of Santa Teresa as a "tribute to the Brazilian people", had reportedly suffered depression and was being threatened by a former colleague connected to local drug gangs.

No verdict has been given on the cause of death but friends said they had feared he would kill himself because he felt betrayed.

Photographs showed that passersby have already lit candles near the body as a mark of respect for the much loved artist, who went from obscurity to fame but never left the gritty neighbourhood that is at the heart of the city's Samba culture.

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/artist-found-dead-rio-mosaic









?1357845726










Wonderful link, many photos, close-ups, details of the incredible staircase:
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/jorgeselar%C3%B3n/interesting/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:37 AM

4. Fabulous photos! Thank you so much! And how completely, totally sad his death is...

...whatever happened, suicide or murder. It just seems so colossally unfair that someone who created such a joyful place, that I'm sure has lifted the spirits of millions of people, just to behold it, could die there, by his own or someone else's hand.

MY spirits are lifted, just beholding it in photos. I've never had the privilege of seeing it in person. What a wonderful work of art! It's even better than Simon Rodeo's "Watt's Towers" (another example of unbidden, joyful art in a city landscape). This just GLOWS! It is so spectacularly cheerful!

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:11 PM

5. I've been amazed by the Watt's Towers in photos, also. Astounding work.

Both men made their work their lives, got totally connected with their ideas and their work in bringing their ideas to life.

These stairs are overwhelming. It was a real work of love.

I really hope the city will decide to undertake real maintainance of this gift to the people from the artist. Mere concrete could never replace what is living in his work for his fellow citizens.

I was glad to see you used the world "glows". That is the perfect word.

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