|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, May 25, 2017
|Brazil police: Artist Jorge Selaron's death a possible suicide on the very steps of his masterpiece|
A woman descends a stairway that was decorated by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron, which he titled the "Selaron Stairway" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Selaron, an eccentric Chilean artist and longtime Rio resident who created a massive, colorful tile stairway in the bohemian Lapa district that's popular with tourists, was found dead on the stairway on Thursday. He was 54. Authorities are investigating the cause of death. AP Photo/Felipe Dana.
By: Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP).- 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. The stairs, his life's work, were declared city patrimony in 2005, when Selaron was made an honorary carioca, as Rio residents are called.
Next to the burned body was a can of paint thinner, the liquid used to fuel the flames, said homicide police chief Renata Araujo. Inside Selaron's home, a humble pastel-colored colonial that opens onto the staircase, was the paint thinner's lid.
All eight people interviewed so far said the artist was deeply depressed over threats by former friend and collaborator and had asked for help in ending his life.
"He even asked to be taken to the subway so he could throw himself under the train," Araujo said.
The autopsy showed the highly flammable liquid was poured on his head, which reinforced the theory he did it himself. Also, since Selaron first reported the threats to police in November 2012, he always had friends stay at his house to keep him company, Araujo said.
The night before he died he chose to sleep alone.
"This could be an indication that he was determined to kill himself," she said. "He could have poured the thinner on his own body inside the house, then to protect his work and die on the staircase, he could have walked out and set himself on fire."
Still, the investigation has not discarded the possibility he was killed. Right before dying the artist went to a nearby bakery and brought home two pieces of bread, Araujo said.
The dispute that led the painter into depression was with Paulo Sergio Rabelo, a friend of long standing and colleague who was left in charge of Selaron's studio when he took a vacation last November.
Rabelo, who earned an income making prints of Selaron's work and was included in his will, fought with several associates in his absence. Selaron was upset and ended their relationship. Rabelo then began threatening him, police said.
Toward the end of the month, the threats escalated and Rabelo attacked one of the artist's closest friends. Selaron registered a complaint with the police on Nov. 24. According to police chief Araujo, Rabelo denied threatening the artist and argued he only wanted to register Selaron's studio as a legitimate business. The artist preferred to remain as he'd always been, working informally and selling his paintings right there on the steps, Rabelo testified to police.
The fighting left Selaron sad and anguished, feelings he expressed in drawings later published in the newspaper O Globo. One piece shows him with trademark mutton chop mustache and the body of a hugely pregnant woman a recurring theme in his art narrating the threats.
"Today I slept in a hotel because these last few days I've been threatened by Paulo, who is still my heir," he wrote on the drawing. "He intends to take control of the sales of my paintings. I said no, this won't happen until I die. He didn't like it."
"In the last 20 days, he lost control entirely," Selaron wrote.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
January 12, 2013
National Portrait Gallery commissions first painted portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge
Sotheby's New York to auction The Michael & Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection
From Figuration to Abstraction: Christie's announces its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
Belgian artist Luc Tuymans's tenth solo exhibition at David Zwirner opens in New York
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents "Modern Women at PAFA: From Cassatt to O'Keeffe"
Enoc Perez's first public display of sculptures opens at Acquavella Galleries
Triple Creek Guest Ranch CEO Barbara Barrett appointed to Smithsonian Board of Regents
Maccarone presents "On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman", a project by Jonathan Berger
Important ceramics by Pablo Picasso from a private collection to be offered at Sotheby's
Solo exhibition of new work by Berlin-based artist Sabine Hornig opens at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Kit Schulte celebrates the art of lying and deceiving, cheating, and fantastic ideas
"A Picture Gallery in the Italian Tradition of the Quadreria (1750-1850)" at Sperone Westwater
Brazil police: Artist Jorge Selaron's death a possible suicide on the very steps of his masterpiece
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston awards 2013 Maud Morgan Prize to artist Sarah Braman
Epic journeys by artists documented through drawing, installation, photography, and video
Cleveland Museum of Art celebrates significant accomplishments from 2012
Howard Greenberg Gallery opens "Kenro Izu: India, Where Prayer Echoes"
Transient figures and intangible forms by Enrico David on view at the Hammer Museum
Congressional Gold Medal goes on national tour
Experts identify new Mozart portrait
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Pissarro painting seized in WW II turns up in exhibition at the Marmottan Museum
2.- First comprehensive retrospective of Mark Tobey's work in Italy opens in Venice
3.- Apple-1 still tops the list of most-wanted tech collectibles
4.- Desire, love, identity: British Museum explores LGBTQ histories
5.- Exhibition focuses on the Nazi period and the acquisitions made during those years
6.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years
7.- MFA Boston reaches agreement with estate to retain 18th century porcelain
8.- Anish Kapoor's Descension installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park
9.- United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford's "Tomorrow Is Another Day"
10.- Venice's 57th International Art Exhibition is a tonic for global woes
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.