Selaron Interview: If I had a Superpower

Selaron interview, 2012, Brazil

Last week, Jorge Selarón, a Chilean artist most famous for his tile-covered steps in Rio, died next to his masterpiece. Back in March, we were lucky enough to see Selarón painting on his steps, and he agreed to take part in our superpower interview series. The 215 steps were one of our favourite art pieces we came across in South America. Selarón continually changed the design and invited visitors to contribute tiles from their country, which he eventually added to the steps. He also painted his own tiles, most often with the image of a pregnant woman who sometimes had his head or the head of a fish.

Selaron painting on his steps in Rio

If you had a superpower, want would it be?

I’d have enough money to travel to London and buy all the collections of tiles. England has the best quality tiles. ‘Made in England’.

Selaron Wall, Rio, Brazil

Describe your perfect day

The day that I had the idea to paint the pregnant woman in 1978.


When were you happiest?

When I went from being a simple painter to a serious, famous, genius painter. It is difficult to be both original and famous. I have painted more than 35,000 pregnantwomen, and last year I did 1,000 self-portraits.

Interviewing Selaron in 2012, Rio

What’s the love of your life?


Selaron description of his artwork

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?

Agatha Christie, Da Vinci and Michaelangelo.

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Victoria in Brazil, Destinations, Superpower interviews 9 Comments

9 Responses to Selaron Interview: If I had a Superpower

  1. Sonya

    Thanks for the fab post! When I was a journalist, I profiled many artists who were all charming originals. Your story brought back fond memories of them.
    Sonya recently posted..An Expat’s Guide To Traveling The UKMy Profile

    • Victoria

      Thanks Sonya. We feel so lucky to have met Selaron.

  2. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    Aaah…that’s one regret I have about our visit to Rio – we didn’t see the Selaron Stairs. And we stayed in Santa Teresa! All the reason to go back I suppose.
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..Rio’s FavelasMy Profile

    • Victoria

      A very good reason at that. We’d love to go back to Rio – it’s such an awesome place.

  3. Igor Moura

    A couple of years ago I helped a brazilian-italian artist and friend named Franco Cava on his music video that was shot right there on the stairs and with the special participation of Selarón. I was very sad when I heard the news, but he sure made a legend of himself.

    Here is the link:

    And thanks for the interview!
    Igor Moura recently posted..David Byrne – €50My Profile

  4. Michael Eiseman

    Your pictures of Jorge Selarón are great. We will miss him very much. We send hundreds of travellers to Rio to see Art and local flavor. Jorge was a nice tangable part of that. He was always around the steps so people felt special that he woud interact with them.

  5. Mike E.

    Have you seen this incredible short film by Brazilian visual artists? It is really incredible and the 2nd half is Carnaval in Rio which is from 10:30 pm to Dawn all condensed down to about 3-4 mins of fast forward hi def photography. City of Samba
    Mike E. recently posted..“The City of Samba” VIP’s video of the yearMy Profile

    • Victoria

      Oh yes. We love that film. We, especially Steve, keep an eye on Vimeo’s featured shorts and this one was awesome.

  6. Pingback: A Guide to Rio de Janeiro – Part II – Tour of the city | A Good Life

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