Art and Design
“Some of our first arrangements were an absolute disaster but that’s how we began, with a fake portfolio and a passion for flowers.”
– Ramiro Guerrero
Ramiro Guerrero, one of the two founders of Flores Cosmos, took me to a sensational flower market – Central de Abastos. The flowers at the market come from all over Mexico, including Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and many more. About 5,000 different types and even some indigenous plants are almost solely available to get there. The main customers are florists in Mexico City; however, sales include exports to the US and other countries.
Funga chose to do a piece on Flores Cosmos because they are a company with an unbelievable bond to plants and nature. Below you can find an interview with Ramiro about his incredible flower company Flores Cosmos and some pictures of the excursion so that you can get a sense of this vast floral oasis.
Portraits of Ramiro Guerrero by jose_spinola
When did your interest in plants and flowers begin?
I think it all began with my mother… She used to take care of the plants and flowers so much. It caught my attention, and I thought it was special.
Ramiro showing me Central de Abastos
When was Flores Cosmos born?
I was living in Spain for a while, and I went to Holland one spring. When I took a train to make a trip, I saw all the fields with flowers. It was so moving and touching to me. I returned to Barcelona, where I lived with my husband, Alberto. We were thinking about moving back to Mexico and starting a business together – something creative, something related to art. After a lot of talking, we suddenly concluded that we should try flowers because we love nature and plants. It was an epiphany!
How did you begin the process of setting up a flower company?
In 2007, we had no idea about flowers but wanted to work with them. A friend of a friend was opening a hotel in Condesa, and our mutual friend put us forward. He invented that we already had a flower business. The hotel owner asked us for a presentation with different options, which we didn’t have. So we looked on the internet and created a fake portfolio of potential arrangements which the client liked. We were like, “What the f**k. How are we going to do this?”
He asked us for samples, and Alberto and I went to the flower market, where we bought flowers we liked. The client started asking for flowers every week. Some of our first arrangements were an absolute disaster, but that’s how we began, with a fake portfolio and a passion for flowers.
What was the most exciting project that you have ever done?
I can think of three…The first one happened in Spain for a first edition flower festival in Cordoba in 2017. The festival invited eight florists that they believed were the most exciting at that time. They included florists from Australia, the States, Spain, France, Mexico (that was us), etc. It was great because they treated us well and gave us the freedom to do what we wanted. We were given a space, a big patio, and a super good budget. It was also the 10th anniversary of Flores Cosmos – we made a six-meter tall sculpture with flowers from all over the world, and a friend composed music especially for our presentation.
The second project was a piece we produced in collaboration with Azuma Makoto. After much time spent together and becoming friends, he wanted to do a project in Mexico. It was also a huge sculpture in an abandoned place. It was very cool and special.
The third was with Mario Testino. We have always loved working with photographers. Mario Testino asked if we wanted to do photos with him a few years ago. He came to Mexico to do a book called ‘A Beautiful World,’ which is still in the making. It is a very special project for him! He was censored from the fashion world because of sexual scandals and decided to stop fashion photography for a while and enter into this personal project. We did a very complex shooting in a house in Colonia Roma patio. We created five arrangement options for him and spent a lot of time taking pictures. Funnily enough, the picture he published is a photo he took with his iPhone.
Mario Testino x Flores Cosmos – printed in ‘A Beautiful World’
Who are you inspired by?
Azuma Makoto has been our biggest floral inspiration. After a lot of time spent together, we have become good friends. They are the best!
“Makoto is most known for his experimental project ‘In Bloom’ that sees the artist place flowers and plants in somewhat unconventional places where they would not usually survive. He’s launched flower bouquets into space, preserved bonsai trees inside futuristic ecospheres, and set floral installations against snowy landscapes.” (see full article here)
Azuma Makoto, In Bloom #1 EXOBIOTANICA I— BOTANICAL SPACE FLIGHT, in Nevada, 2014. Photo by Shiinoki Shunsuke.
If you could choose to exist as one plant, what would it be?
I have two.. My first option is Peyote.
Plant medicines have strongly influenced my approach to nature, life, and art. Peyote, especially, has changed my life in so many ways. It is all about consciousness, love, and light. I also like that they come from the desert, a quiet place, and the night and the stars. They are very powerful and reserved and grow in families; you don’t find one Peyote; it is either one big cactus with a little one attached or a bigger group of them. I think the way they grow, the place they grow, and what they have to give to humanity is very special. On top of it, they are beautiful and have white and pink flowers attached to them. So really, they are perfect!
And the second plant would be a magnolia tree. I love trees; they are so ancient and the greatest teachers. They give us oxygen, give us life. Magnolia flowers are also one of the few that, the moment you cut them from the tree, it starts to die, so you cannot use them for an arrangement. It is very symbolic and precious to think that they only live in symbiosis with the tree. They are one! This only happens with very few flowers.
It is also very related to the heart. Ancient civilizations, American Indians and the Chinese, use magnolia in their medicine. They use magnolia in tea for heart disease.
Lastly, it is known that the first flower that ever existed comes from a variety of magnolia, which is also why it is so special to me. The first flower, where it all started!
A Peyote cactus
Below are some pictures of the beautiful arrangements and projects that @florescosmos have done: