Multidisciplinary artist and sculptor Daniel Popper creates interactive public art installations which are often monumental in scale. The Cape Town-based artist's work encourages audiences to contemplate diverse themes. Known for his installations blending sculpture and stage design at music festivals, Popper's figurative sculptures have become iconic for the way they beckon the viewer to embrace their physical surroundings. One of his newest works, titled Thrive, will be a permanent public installation at Society Las Olas, a residential building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The sculptural installation features an enormous figure ripping open its chest—like a fairy-tale giant come to life. Crafted in glass-fiber reinforced concrete, the sublime figure weighs about 14 tons and stands over 30 feet tall. The stunning structure also features a fern-adorned archway that viewers can walk through. The chest of the contemplative giant gently opens itself up, exposing its surprising green interior.
Works of this scale are not new for Popper, who has spent years sculpting monumental public installations. In 2019, his Modem Swamp work towered over the Modem Festival in Croatia. For that installation, Popper collaborated with others to illuminate the work with projection mapping.
While music festivals are not possible at present, Popper says that he has already been focused on permanent public art installations. He hinted that more permanent works like Thrive are forthcoming. When asked how he hopes audiences will interact with Thrive, he tells My Modern Met, “I hope they will continue to interact with it and enjoy it and that the message and feeling continues for many years to come. In many ways it's a symbol of hope and transformation which have been central to many people's worlds during 2020.”