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|Born||December 22, 1983|
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Education||Bachelor of Fine Arts|
|Known for||Known for delivering larger than life physical installations at festivals around the world|
Daniel Popper is a multidisciplinary artist known for delivering larger than life physical installations at festivals around the world.
Born December 22nd, 1983 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Daniel Jonathan Popper moved to Cape Town with his family at the age of 19, before attending the University of Cape Town, where he attended the Michaelis School of Fine Arts and received a B.F.A. with Honors in 2006. In his formative years, he studied more traditional media such as oil painting and figure drawing. After attending the 2007 edition of Afrikaburn, a regional Burning Man affiliate event, Popper began to experiment with installations and performing arts. Daniel’s first notable commissioned work was at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where he debuted and performed with his unique puppets in a variety of sponsored fan parks around the country. In 2012, Daniel transitioned into stage and production design, when he was commissioned by Boom Festival, a global Psytrance gathering held in Portugal. His first major stage design consisted of two serpents, fabricated of wood suspended above the crowd.
Popper’s 2012 Boom Festival stage design brought him international media coverage, resulting in multiple returns to the event, including his 2016 “Shaman” piece, a 13 meter tall art structure created using a combination of wood, steel and rope. The following years brought more success and international attention as Daniel continued to pursue creative new techniques in stage design and large scale installation production at festivals around the world. One of Popper’s most notable emerging career projects took place in his home country at his original source of inspiration, South Africa’s official regional Burning Man event, Afrikaburn. Six years after first attending the festival, Daniel returned to debut “Reflections,” a 3 level, 10 meter tall installation crafted of a variety of wood and steel.  The piece remains one of Popper’s most renowned to date. The year 2014 marked an important milestone for Popper, as he was commissioned by international research science and automation conglomerate Siemens to design and build a memorial statue for Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology. The “Tree of Wisdom” is an 11 meter galvanised steel and granite structure that was showcased to the public by President of South Africa Jacob Zuma at the School’s opening ceremony. The structure still stands today as a tribute to Mandela’s global legacy. Popper’s next career highlight debuted at the 2018 edition of Artwithme*GNP in Tulum, Mexico where he created “Ven a La Luz” or “Come into the Light”. Comprised of a variety of wood, twine and dense green foliage, the piece is considered equal parts an artistic and architectural feat as patrons are able to walk directly between the open-arched chest of the piece, which stands over 10 meters tall and continues to draw crowds in Tulum long after the conclusion of the Artwithme*GNP event. Popper already has an impressive lineup of projects set to debut in 2020, most notably a set of five specially designed, permanent structures for the Chicago Morton Arboretum, set to be released in June.
In the media
- "Cape artist makes waves around the world". www.capetownetc.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- Mafika (2009-11-12). "Art, entrepreneurs and puppets in 2010". Brand South Africa. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "Featured: Daniel Popper | Interactive Installations For The Psyche". Between 10and5. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "Festival All-Star: Artist Daniel Popper | Everfest". Everfest.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- Berry, Graham (2019-04-19). "Festival All-Star: Artist Daniel Popper". Medium. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "Most Incredible Sculptures of AfrikaBurn 2013". My Modern Met. 2014-01-25. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "Daniel Popper: when art dialogues with its surroundings – INSPIRONAUT". Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "Sculpture celebrates Nelson Mandela's commitment to education". www.eveready.co.za. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
- "A Towering Wooden Sculpture by Daniel Popper Welcomes Beachgoers in Tulum". Colossal. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
- "Daniel Poppper "Ven a la Luz" Installation in Tulum, Mexico". StreetArtNews. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
- Smith, Katlyn (2019-12-11). "South African's sculptures of staggering scale coming to Morton Arboretum". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
- Daniel Popper on facebook
- Daniel Popper on instagram
- DANIEL POPPER Artist Profile Page - ART WITH ME *GNP
- Giant Figurative Sculptures Bring Peace and Love to Music
- Daniel Popper - Amsterdam Dance Event
- Stunning Giant Interactive Sculptures by Daniel Popper
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