Monthly Archives: September 2013

Escadaria Selaron

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Having missed the amazing mosaic steps when I was in San Francisco… I was not planning on making the same mistake on my recent trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Escadaria Selaron (Steps Selaron) are the work of a Chilean born artist, Jorge Selaron, who, in 1990, began renovating the dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. He initially used pieces of blue, green and yellow tiles because these are the colours of the Brazilian flag..

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Initially he used whatever materials he could find from construction sites and piles of urban waste from the streets of Rio – tiles, mirror etc.. Gradually he began to add his own original pieces (depicting a pregnant ¬†African woman) and the colour red because, he claimed, “there are certain colours, particularly red, that bring joy wherever they are.”

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People began to hear about his steps and to bring tiles for him to use from different parts of the world…

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Slowly the steps transformed into a whimsical mosaic cascade. No sooner was one section finished that he would begin work on another section, constantly changing it so that it was an ever evolving piece of art.

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There are 250 steps and they are now covered by over 2000 tiles from over 60 countries around the world. The steps have now been featured in a number of ads, magazines and video clips (Snoop Dog and U2). Sadly Selaron was found dead on the steps earlier this year. It’s unknown as to whether he was murdered or if it was suicide. His tribute to the Brazilian people lives on, however, and he will not be forgotten.

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