Giant Sculpture Opens Its Chest To Reveal a Fern-Covered Tunnel People Can Walk Through

Thrive Daniel Popper

“Thrive” by Daniel Popper

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.”

If you would like to explore more of Daniel Popper's monumental works, you can visit his website and Instagram.

Multidisciplinary artist Daniel Popper creates monumental public art installations of fantastical figures.

"Thrive" Public Sculpture by Daniel Popper

His work Thrive has been unveiled at the building Society Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"Thrive" Public Sculpture by Daniel Popper

At about 30 feet tall, Thrive is crafted in concrete over glass and fiber structures.

"Thrive" Public Sculpture by Daniel Popper

The stunning installation is a symbol of hope and transformation as a beautiful addition to 2020.

"Thrive" Public Sculpture by Daniel Popper

Daniel Popper: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Daniel Popper.

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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