Footage from a news report showing off Mr Armacollo’s collection in 2015 has now been shared widely, with many debating whether the sculptor achieved his intention of capturing the “soul” of each of his subjects.
“It might look simple, but to achieve this richness of detail was hard work, a reporter said. “The artist wanted to capture the character as well as the soul of each person.”
But Mr Armacollo’s sculptures, which also portray Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein and Princess Diana, have now been mocked, with one Twitter user branding them a “Brazilian horror story”.
Responding to his new-found viral fame, Mr Armacollo, 77, said he “couldn’t care less” about the criticism.
“If it was about making money it might bother me whether people appreciated what I was doing or not,” he told The Guardian.
“But I do the things I do because I enjoy them. I did this for our town. If people like it, come and visit. If they don’t, don’t.”
The paper reported that each statue requires around 5kg of wax and sues imported English eyeballs. They are now housed in a nearby museum.
Mr Armacollo also said he hoped the “commotion” would attract tourists from other cities to visit his wax sculptures.