Q+A with hyperrealist florist, Manu Torres
Not your ordinary prom bouquet…
Fact: Floral arrangements are usually pretty. It’s kind of hard to make something naturally beautiful, look ugly. However, classic bouquets can sometimes be (dare we say), boring? Not when Manu Torres is in charge! Manu takes flower arranging to the NEXT LEVEL with his hyperrealist assortments. Incorporating natural flowers with synthetic items to exaggerate the flower’s “natural beauty,” his work is truly a form of art. We love Manu’s original style with extreme texture play, color contrasts and height variations. The result of his risk-taking? Gorgeous, intricate masterpieces that are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Check out more of Manu’s work on his Instagram!
by CHLOE.: Hi Manu! Thanks SO much for chatting with us. We’ll let you introduce yourself.
MT: I am a florist based in Portland, Oregon. My work often involves a dialogue between the artificial and the natural, incorporating paper, fabric, paint and more to imitate and exaggerate natural beauty in a hyperreal way.
bC: Tell us your path to becoming a flower artist! How did you get started, and what were you doing before?
MT: I grew up in Mexico and so have a natural affinity for tropicals. I feel that I neglected the beautiful flora in my current home in the Pacific Northwest, until one day when I just started just playing around with flowers that I found in my neighborhood. At first, I took a more free-style approach with these arrangements, but they quickly developed into something more Baroque- but still with an ease and modern twist.
I’ve been working with a contemporary art exhibition space called Yale Union in Portland. They commission arrangements for their art openings. I meet with the artist they’re showcasing and learn about their practice, and their approach helps to inform my final piece. It’s a special collaboration, and has led me to think about my own practice in completely new ways. Outside of this, I strive to have a similar exchange with any client I work with. I want both my client’s and my own personality to shine-through in the arrangements.
bC: We love your unique aesthetic, combining natural and synthetic elements. What inspires you?
MT: Aside from nature itself, art from the Baroque and Late Renaissance are big inspirations for me.
bC: What do you like to do when you aren’t flower arranging? Any other passions?
MT: Usually I’m just trying to catch up with friends, get out of town and relax really. Whenever I have spare time and I’m feeling inspired, I tend to try my luck at doing collages.
bC: What are some of your favorite places or things to do in your home country of Mexico?
MT: I love visiting Morelia. It’s such an old town with big city vibes. The history, architecture and food are amazing.
bC: Where do you see yourself, and your career in the next 5 year?
MT: As a stablished artist.
bC: What is on your must-do list when visiting NYC?!
MT: I always enjoy walking around in Chinatown and eating dumplings at Vanessa’s. And, seeing all my friends that have moved to the city.
bC: Any piece of advice that you live by?
MT: Don’t procrastinate.
Favorite place on earth? My grandma’s house in Mexico.
Top 3 restaurants (excluding by CHLOE. of course!)? Mariscos Jalisco in Los Angeles, Navarre, and Autentica in Portland.
Favorite food? Mexican.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
Choice super hero power? Everything Mantis is capable of doing.
Juice or smoothie? Both.
3 objects you can’t live without? Any kind of clippers, my outdoors hat and my camera phone.
Whatcha readin’? I am more of a visual learner and currently obsessed with an art book called Recordings by Container Corps.