NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The search is on for a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a Brooklyn artist.

While his family and friends demand justice for his murder, they are also trying to make sure that his art lives on.

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CBS2 was allowed exclusive access to an artist’s studio to see the large works; each covering two sides of the same canvas.

Some of them, sadly, will stay unfinished. They are the intricate paintings of Jean Lareus Candilo.

Jean Lareus Candilo’s paintings. (Credit: CBS2)

The stabbing murder occurred around lunchtime on Wednesday, just down the block from the studio inside his Flatbush apartment on East 19th Street.

A native of Haiti, the self-taught artist is survived by just one sibling, a sister.

Friends say they are desperate for the killer to be caught.

“I hope the law catches up with you. You took away a great person,” friend Endira Henry said.

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Jean Lareus Candilo (Credit: Robert Discalfani)

Friends say he was in his studio when he received a text message to meet someone outside. He went and he never came back.

“He just told me he’d be right back,” one neighbor told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Witnesses heard the artist and a man wearing a hoodie having a loud argument, so it’s possible Candilo knew the suspect who stabbed him to death.

Police have not released any names of possible suspects or any images taken from security cameras.

The victim’s friends say the artist had no enemies that they know of.

“He was just always a positive person,” Henry said.

The artist did not experience great commercial success but, what mattered his friends say, is how art became more than his lifelong occupation – it was his constant companion.

Candilo died at 48 years-old, but his paintings live on.

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A recent exhibition of Candilo’s work was shown at Bond Street Studio in Gowanus.