Jorge Selaron Found Dead on Famous Rio Staircase
Chilean Artist Jorge Selaron has been found dead in the historic district of Lapa, in Rio de Janeiro. The cause of death is unknown, but he was said to have several burns.
RIO DE JANEIRO — The self-taught artist was found dead next to a box of paint thinner with burns on his body. Though the cause of death is unknown, he had previously reported receiving death threats from a former colleague, Sergio Paulo Rabello.
The two men had worked together for five years before Rabello started to become very demanding of Selaron’s money.
“I helped this boy so much. But he wanted everything, he wanted the paintings, the earnings… When I didn’t agree with that, the threats started November last year and never stopped,” the artist reported in an interview with O Globo last Thursday.
Police have not ruled out suicide, either. According the artist’s secretary, Cesar Gomes, Selaron was a “happy person, but the constant bullying made him fall into a depression”. The artist reportedly felt betrayed by Rabello.
Selaron had spent 20 years working on the mosaic steps where his body was found. Though primarily a painter, he became obsessed with the steps after undertaking them as a small renovation job. Often times, he would focus on selling paintings simply to fund the mosaic steps.
The steps, now globally renowned, are considered to be a city landmark. The artist, despite rising to fame, continued to live in the same progressively violent area of Rio. He was recognized as an “honorary citizen” of the city.
Passerbys have already started lighting candles on the staircase to memorialize the artist. He was 65 years old.
Seleron’s stairs has been recognized in pop culture all over the world, including this Snoop Dogg video.
They are much more amazing in real life.