Continuing his career of producing psychedelic, multisensory art and entertainment experiences, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne is creating an immersive art installation called 'King's Mouth' for an upcoming exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
"The Big Hope Show" will be the first museum exhibition of the performer's artwork—and it seems overdue, in light of Coyne's long, multidisciplinary career. In a 2013 interview with Hyperallergic, Coyne claimed to be primarily a visual artist over a musician.
Curated by AVAM founder Rebecca Hoffberger, "The Big Hope Show" will also include work by Margaret Munz-Losch, John Waters photographer/documentarian Bob Adams, activist artist Jackie Sumell, fabric artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, anonymous PostSecret postcards selected by PostSecret founder Frank Warren, and more. The show will focus on "issues relating to hope and transcendent survival," according to a press release.
"Wayne Coyne's work is among the most jubilant in our 'Big Hope Show,'" Hoffberger says in a press release. "Surviving a violent, near-death experience awakened him a joy and a tsunami of endless creativity rarely seen in anyone."
Hoffberger refers to the armed robbery attempt Coyne experienced as a teenager in the '80s while working at a Long John Silvers restaurant—where he worked until 1990, long after forming The Flaming Lips in 1983—in his hometown of Oklahoma City.
Since being held at gunpoint, Coyne has gone on to create famously large-scale live performances with The Lips that involve artistic, theatrical, and psychedelic spectacles including large quantities of confetti, lasers, costumes, and Coyne rolling over the audience in a giant bubble. He made his directorial debut in 2001 with The Flaming Lips' experimental science-fiction film "Christmas on Mars" and established a funhouse-style art gallery in Oklahoma City called the Womb in 2011.
In recent years, The Flaming Lips have collaborated with high-profile pop stars including Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus on both audio and visual projects.
"His drawings remind me of those most beloved by Saint-Exupéry," says Hoffberger on Coyne's work. "His lyrics are poetry."