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That One Thing: Mexico's Cosmovitral

By Lotuff Leather

In 1975 Toluca, Mexico, a huge indoor marketplace closed down and its fate became uncertain. Instead of allowing this gorgeous but empty building to languish and deteriorate under the effects of time, a local artist by the name of Leopoldo Flores decided to transform it into his own personal labor of love, something I find incredibly inspiring.

Both a botanical garden and a stained glass masterpiece, the Cosmovitral is a visual representation of humanity’s inherent connection to nature and the world around us. Its realization took years, as the building had to be almost completely restructured, but the artist ultimately succeeded in converting this desolate place into a vision of harmony and enduring splendor.

I’m fascinated by this massive work of art not only because of its raw beauty, but also due to the fact that it was born out of a desire to bring life back to a fading entity. Flores’s persevering creativity generated something wonderful through modernizing the dated but storied art form that is stained glass.