South African-born artist Daniel Popper is known for his oversized, fantastical installations. Typically working on themes around human connection, his large-scale sculptures are immediately recognizable. Popper's work often shows up at art and music festivals; and in 2019, he created an incredible entry into EDC Las Vegas.
The work, titled Chasm, is a little over 24 feet tall and shows a woman's head and bust slowly coming apart. The sides of her face were linked by metal rods, while an archway carved out of her bust allowed visitors to enter the Nomad's Land area at EDC 2020. The sculpture was also enhanced by graffiti, executed by artist A-A-Ron and his collaborators.
EDC, or the Electric Daisy Carnival, is North America's largest electronic dance festival. Held annually at the Las Vegas Speedway, EDC is not only known for incredible music, but also for its creative and colorful art installations. While creating the perfect entrance into the fantasy land that is EDC might intimidate some artists, Popper rose to the challenge. The monumental beauty seems to reign over the environment, becoming even more picturesque among the concert lighting.
The piece was inspired by fractures in society. In fact, the sculpture was titled Chasm because of the word's significance. “Chasm, a deep fracture in the earth or rock, stands as a post-apocalyptic monument, showing the schism in our fractured society, almost ripped apart,” Popper shares. “It speaks to the profound differences between people, viewpoints, and feelings, yet is still linked together even if it seems by small threads of metal.”
The rods that bind together the woman's face could almost be seen as the small commonalities—such as music—that bring together disparate members of society. For an event like EDC Las Vegas, which is all about unity, it seems to be a fitting message.
Chasm continues to stand tall, so festival-goers will still be able to enjoy it when EDC Las Vegas returns, starting May 20 to May 22, 2022. And, if you are looking for more of Popper's work, his incredible installations at the Morton Arboretum will be on view through 2023.