A Chilean artist by the name of Jorge Selaron was found dead under suspicious circumstances on the very stairs he’d spent 20 years of his life transforming into a beautiful work of art.
The staircase, located in Rio de Janeiro, has become an international sensation over the years as what was once a dark, lifeless alleyway became bright, vibrant, and energetic with Selaron’s tile work. The 65-year old artist spent over two decades decorating the staircase with thousands of tiles; it would become his last work.
Police haven’t released a cause of death, but friends say he was depressed in his final days over a misunderstanding with a friend that allegedly led to death threats; investigators aren’t ruling out foul play because Selaron’s body was reportedly found covered in burn marks. Those who knew him mourn not only their friend and a brilliant artist, but the way he died.
“We can speak of Lapa before and after Selaron. He changed the face of Rio. His death is something brutish, that makes no sense,” friend Jocimar Batista de Jesus said.
Selaron will forever be remembered as a man who transformed part of his city into something beautiful, who made it his life’s mission to give something to the people of Rio that would live on forever.