Hello friends and HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!!
I am trying to get this blog posting back on track- starting with the first #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt post of 2015! Other than being the first #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt post of the year, we [as in Liv + I] re-thought our approach to this series. While I was in Brazil, Liv did a guest post here, where she talked a bit about our new direction, and well today is the day!
Initially, when I dreamt up this idea of #OnWednesdaysWeWear art I wanted to approach my closet in a new way, and I wanted to document it on my blog + Instagram. It is easy to fall into wearing the same old outfit to work everyday, especially when your job is early + messy. My closet didn't inspire me anymore, and I needed to breath some life into my outfits and knew I couldn’t afford a shopping spree. I remembered how in high school my art teacher would always say that I matched my art work, and realized it still happens often. Art + color are what inspire me most anyways, so why not let it inspire how I dress!
All along, I imagined #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt being a thing where others were joining in and using the hashtag to show how artist/art inspired them as they got dressed. Some weeks into doing the series, I had a few folks that joined in here in there, but then had Liv reached out to me about combining forces each week on the series, as her blog is all about art + self expression! It literally has been a matched made in blogging heaven!
Liv and I don’t live in the same state, but being only one state away we have been able to meet IRL a couple of times and there is always phone calls, text and emails! Last month we had a chat about how to approach the #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt series in 2015. We decided that each month we will put a calendar out on which artist we will be inspired by each week. Incase you want to follow along with whats coming up, or if you want to be inspired by the same artist that we choose- you can play along that way. OR you choose your own artist and teach us something new + show us how it inspired your outfit!
If art isn’t your thing- but fashion is, please don't be intimidated by the ‘art’ aspect of it. It can be a simple as you screen shooting an image of a painting/drawing/photograph/heck- a set of steps [keep reading] that inspires you + how it inspired your outfit that Wednesday. At the end of this post I explain how you can link up your blog post + make sure you use the hashtag #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt [on Instagram] as at the end of each month Liv + myself will be posting a round up of our favorite outfits!
Today, I am soo excited to introduce to you Chilean born, Brazilian artist [painter + ceramist]- Jorge Selaron and his ever so famous Escadaria Selaron - staircase. Maybe you’ve seen it in Snoop Dogg’s ‘Beautiful’ music video OR on Pinterest or numerous commercials/campaigns and even in Brazil’s up coming 2016 summer 2016 Olympic promotions. The steps are soo beautiful in pictures and even more captivating in person. BUT the story + artist behind all those tiles are even more beautiful and tragic, and a true labor of love. This place is a beautiful + colorful treasure and I hope it stands the test of time.
These steps connect the two neighborhoods of Santa Teresa and Lapa [both of these are known as the artist neighborhoods. With Lapa being more like the Little 5 Points of Atlanta, and Santa Teresa being the Savannah of Georgia.] The steps are located in Lapa. You can see in the picture I found above off Google [with a bad/no link] what it looked like before. Selaron was quoted somewhere saying he was tired of the grey, urine stained steps outside of his house, so he decided to do something about it. [Despite how beautiful Rio was, the stench of urine was something you kind of had to get use to- on the streets anyways]. Selaron didn’t have any money to fund this project. He started out using old porcelain bathtubs + pieces of glass that he would find in dumpsters. As the project grew, he made paintings and sold them to buy tiles. Neighbors contributed with tiles that they would find/buy in the city or on their travels.
As word of Selaron’s project spread through out the world [via the web] visitors would bring him tiles, and folks would mail them from all over the world [from more than 60 countries]. Over time, all of Selaron’s extra money went to funding this life long project. He sold over 20,000 painting in the 2 decades of working on this project to help fund it.
Most days Selaron could be found working on his steps, usually in red wearing board shorts telling stories to travelers visiting his steps. His signature pose, sticking out his tongue! He was quoted saying
“ I will only end this mad and singular dream on the last day of my life!”
He also believed that red was the best color in the world and brought joy to everything. He didn't think the stairs were photogenic until he started to add the red tiles and believed that is what attracted all of the visitors.
Selaron said this was his tribute to the Brazilian people. He had no resources and no support from the city/government, despite the major attraction that it quickly became. That is just something that blows my mind. However, in 2005 he was honored as the honorary ‘Carioca’ [resident of Rio]. Foreiginers are called 'gringos'.
The crowd at the steps was c r a z y. The first time we went was at like mid-night [a bit sketchy for sure but not at all unusual for this neighborhood, and we were with locals] and even then there was a good bit of tourist there. But during the day….oh my gosh, it was a sea of people. and SOOO hot.
Sadly and tragically Selaron was found dead [beaten + burned] on the steps outside of his house, just two years ago- January 10th, 2013. It is reported in the months leading up to his death that Selaron reported to the police of threats to his life from a former assistant of his at his studio. This man wanted money from Selaron, but he really didn’t have any. The police in Brazil never investigated or released information on his death and months later presented it as a suicide. Neighbors quoted saying “No one can prove anything, everyone just knows what happened.”
If your interested in more, watch this YouTube video I found, it is so great, and reminds me of a gal we met + bought jewelry from. She was a traveler from Spain, traveling through South America collecting stones and making + selling jewelry to make money as she goes.
From one goofy artist to the next!
Obrigada [thank you], Selaron!
For making a little slice of this world a more beautiful/colorful place to be!
Below you will find 2 different buttons + a banner with the #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt logo on it, as well as the 'rules' for playing dress up with us [wink]! We are so excited about our plans for #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt this year, and even more excited about getting more of you to join in! Don't forget to use the hashtag #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt when you post your outfit, and to link up with us each week. BECAUSE at the end of each month, we will each make a post + link up to our favorite looks/artist from that month.
This link up is about building and celebrating community around self-expression,
through [2 of our favorite] things- art + style!
Add a link to YOUR art inspired outfit below, by clicking on the 'Add Link' button and copying and pasting a link to your blog post [remember to visit the person before yours site + leave a comment!] :
Psst! Check in tomorrow to see how to enter my giveaway with Blue Sky Papers to win a chance to pick out + customize your own handmade journal, like the one I took with me to Brazil!
Paint with me :
D.I.Y. : Eyeball Clutch
#OWWWA : Frank Stella
Currently on the Gram :