01-11-2013, 10:05 PM #1
BR - Jorge Selarón found dead on Rio mosaic staircase he spent 20 years creating
Death a bit of a mystery at this time. Suicide? Murder?
Artist found dead on Rio mosaic staircase he spent 20 years creating (Guardian)
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.
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.
The Globo newspaper said a dispute over the proceeds from his art sales had made him suicidal.
In an interview with the daily shortly before his death, Selarón claimed he was threatened by a former employee of his studio.
Globo (Brazil) says his body was found with burn marks.
Fame. Drugs. Spectacle. Death. When the artist lives and dies, it’s always interesting.
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