Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips opens art exhibit in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips opens art exhibit in Waterloo

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Waterloo, IA – The lead singer of the Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne, will be at the Waterloo Center for the Arts February 16, for the Opening Reception of Works By Wayne Coyne. The reception begins at 7pm and is free and open to the community.

The exhibit presents an opportunity to crawl deeper into the mind of the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne. This solo exhibition features a selection of works created across multiple platforms including Coyne’s highly immersive larger-than-life audio visual installation King’s Mouth. In addition to prints, drawings and collages, the exhibit will present Coyne’s full-length film Christmas on Mars, along with Zaireeka, a four-album audio experiment by the Flaming Lips.

Chawne Paige of the Waterloo Center for the Arts says, "The work that he is doing has this self-taught edge to it which is just in line with our collections, but ultimately I think it's a showcase for how far creativity can go."

Wayne Coyne was born January 13, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Oklahoma City. He began making art and music as a youngster, dropped out of high school, and formed the psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips in 1983. Coyne worked for fifteen years as a fry cook at a local Long John Silvers, and, one night, armed intruders burst into the restaurant, held a gun to his head, and demanded money. Coyne recalls thinking, “This is really how you die—one minute you’re cooking up someone’s order of French fries and the next minute you’re laying on the floor and they blow your brains out. There’s no music, there’s no significance; it’s just random.” After the robbers exited without harming anyone, Coyne and his coworkers felt an overwhelming surge of gratitude and began hugging one another. “It was as if we’d won a million dollars,” he recalls. “It changed me.”

The experience also unlocked a streak of fierce and hopeful creativity in Coyne, who transformed the Lips’ live shows into visually-stunning, communal spectacles and penned songs with titles such as All We Have Is Now and Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear. He created enduring album cover art, released new music on flash drives embedded in Gummy skulls, produced an upbeat 10 Reasons for Living set of postcards, opened a funhouse-style arts venue (The Womb) in Oklahoma City, and even directed Christmas on Mars, a science fiction Christmas film.

Coyne’s visual art—which until recently had never been presented in a museum setting—is similarly spirited, with elements of transcendent psychedelic fantasy mingling with the hopeful struggle that often infuses his music. King’s Mouth, Coyne’s elaborate multimedia sculptural environment, debuted at the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore as part of a recent exhibit entitled The Big Hope Show. The Flaming Lips composed and recorded original music exclusively for your enjoyment inside the King’s Mouth.

The exhibit will remain on display through April 23. The Waterloo Center for the Arts’ galleries are free and open to the public.

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