Daniel Popper’s Concrete Jungles

Cape Town-based multidisciplinary artist Daniel Popper mixes greenery and concrete in his larger than life interactive sculptures. Popper travels around the world with commissions to create public art installations at music festivals, such as the Electric Forest festival in the US, Boom Festival in Portugal, and the Rainbow Serpent festival in Australia. These towering sculptures offer an immersive experience with the use of electronic music. LED lighting, and projection mapping. While Popper’s art takes a lot of technology behind the scenes, the finished product creates a meditative atmosphere reflective of a tropical oasis that allows audiences to connect with nature. 

Popper uses a range of materials to bring his enchanting installations to life. From steel, fibreglass, concrete, wood, and natural fibres, his work explores many different textures that are often paired with a pop of vibrant plant life. Lush ferns and forest greens can be found bursting at the heart of his sculptures. Popper sculpts the head and torso of the female body in many of his works, giving mother nature a human form. With her head titled and her eyes closed, these sculptures are a serene, almost comforting, sight to look at. Popper designs these installations to be interactive. Observers can walk into and through them, allowing the art to be appreciated from every angle. 

With the pandemic, Popper’s main venue for his installations has been cancelled for the time being. This has pushed Popper to create more permanent works. His most recent sculpture “Thrive” is a permanent 8-metre tall statue in Florida. The installation features a woman opening her cracked chest to reveal a fern garden. This piece of art aptly communicates a sense of broken beauty in times where many are trying to find joy and beauty amongst the chaos COVID-19 has incited.