Chilean artist Jorge Selaron became famous after redoing a 215-step staircase in Rio's Lapa area. The man who revamped the neighborhood has been found dead on the famous flight of stairs, in front of his house.The artist's home is located right next to Escadaria Selaron, the staircase that turned him into a cultural icon. The stairs in Brasil's Rio De Janeiro are decorated with a colorful kaleidoscope pattern.
They have been regarded as a “tribute to the Brazilian people,” I Design Times writes. He started working on them in 1990, using tiles from old bathhouses and refurbished tiles sent by volunteers.
65-year-old Selaron's body was found the morning of January 10. Police have dubbed his overnight passing suspicious; however, they did not comment on what they uncovered.
According to the Inquisitr, they are not ruling out that the artist could have been murdered. The cause of death has not been made public as of yet.
Daily Mail reports that he had been receiving death threats for months before his untimely demise. He had mentioned that they were coming from an unnamed former employee at his workshop. Lately, they had made him plummet into a state of depression.
A familiar face in Lapa, Selaron will be deeply missed by locals.
“Here in Lapa everyone knew him; he was the face of this bohemian, artistic neighborhood. [...] He was a simple man, who loved this life, sitting here, watching the kids play, chatting people up,” tour guide Alejandro Martin Barreira says.
“He had no resources, no support from the city … The neighbors helped as they could. I brought him tiles from my trips, from Spain, Holland, as I traveled. As it grew, people began to contribute, to send him tiles, to bring them to Rio when they came to visit,” friend and neighbor Jocimar Batista de Jesus describes.