This week has had a theme of bloody good travel quotes, so we thought we’d add one of our favourites to our photo of the week. We took this picture of the artist Selaron in Rio when interviewing him for our blog If I had a Superpower. True to his artistic temperament, after five questions, he turned away and declared “I am painting now”, and that was that. If you’re ever in Santa Teresa in Rio, don’t miss his spectacular steps, covered in tiles from around the world.
The year after we went to Rio, Selarón was found dead on his famous steps in a suspected suicide. The police also didn’t rule out homicide as Sealrón had received death threats. He was 65 when he died.
Sealrón moved to Lapa in Rio de Janeiro in the 1980s and began decorating the steps in 1990. There are 215 steps in all and they lead to the Covent of Santa Teresa. Selarón decorated the steps with hundreds of porcelain tiles donated by friends and admirers from around the world. It took twenty years to complete and when he finished he started again with a new design. It was an ongoing artwork that he called a “tribute to the Brazilian people”. Since his death, the stairs have been declared a city landmark.
Read our interview with Selarón here.