Damien Hirst & Wayne Coyne's Beautiful Mystical Exploding Sun Clouds Taste Metallic Installation - CODAworx

Damien Hirst & Wayne Coyne’s Beautiful Mystical Exploding Sun Clouds Taste Metallic Installation

Client: The City of Oklahoma City

Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team

Project Principal

Anton Morton

Kasum Contemporary Fine Art, Inc.

Handling Team Leader and Documentation Photographer

Brooke Hutchens

Kasum Contemporary Fine Art, Inc.

Handling Team Associate Lead

Dylan Bradway

Kasum Contemporary Fine Art, Inc.

Handling Team Associate Lead

Gary Locke

Kasum Contemporary Fine Art, Inc.

Metal Fabrications Specialist

Brett McDanel

Brett McDanel Studio

Appraisal Specialist

Helen Opper

Opper Fine Art

Logistics Team Coordinator

Jesse Gartman

Sherpa Moving and Storage

Loan Organizer/Coordinator

Robbie Kienzle

The City of Oklahoma City Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs

Principal Collaborating Artist

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst Studio

Collaborating Artist and Lender

Wayne Coyne

The Flaming Lips

Facility Operations and Coordination

Shaun Rice

Oklahoma City Convention Center

Architectural Photographer

Steve Voelker

Voelker Photo, LLC

Handling Assistance Coordinator and Logistics Team Photographer

Katie Gartman

Sherpa Moving and Storage


Working in his UK studio in 2012, artist Damien Hirst collaborated with artist, and lead vocalist of the Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne to create one of the world’s largest spin art paintings; measuring just over 18’ x 18’. The painting, Beautiful Mystical Exploding Sun Clouds Taste Metallic, crossed the Atlantic in 2014 to be assembled and installed, suspended face down from a ceiling at The Womb, private studio of Wayne Coyne, where it remained on display for four years. In 2018 the work was uninstalled by Kasum Contemporary Fine Art and temporarily archived into storage while a loan agreement for the work was composed and facilitated. In January 2021, Kasum began planning for the installation of the painting by advising on the final installation site for the work and building an assembly and installation plan for the monumental piece. In December 2021, a contract was completed and the Hirst and Coyne collaboration was released on loan to the City of Oklahoma City for 10 Years. Over a period of 25 days from December 12th through January 5, 2022, Kasum Contemporary’s Logistics and Handling Team assembled, re-stretched and installed the highly sensitive artwork on the mezzanine of the newly opened Oklahoma City Convention Center.


The objective of the project was to deliver, assemble, and re-stretch a highly sensitive seamed latex on canvas original, with conditioning and preservation of the work as foremost concerns, and then install the 800-pound piece without it ever touching the ground. Due to the nature of the Convention Center and their expense of operations, scheduling, allocated workspace and the speed of the work to be facilitated were the predominant facility concerns. An allotment of 40 days was afforded but had to be decreased to 26 days due to facility program and scheduling needs. Our team was provided a secure space just over 100 yards from the installation wall. In order to maintain the schedule and adapt to the constant needs of the painting, our teams worked daily, and often nightly, to attend to the re-stretch of the work over 20 days. Following the initial few equalized hand pulls, the canvas was slowly tweaked tighter at a conservative rate of 1/8 to 1/16 inch of equalized pull every day. Because the painting had originally been displayed face down, extra caution had to be taken to re-tension the centers which had been stretched further than the corners by the effect of gravity over the first four years of its display.


The painting was moved in two crates, the largest measuring over twenty feet in length. Once in the work space, the painting was given time to climatize to the new environment and the individual assembly, stretch and waste work spaces were prepared. Once the components were unpacked, the painting was flipped upright for inspection and the crating materials were removed and weighed to determine the weight of the painting and stretcher. Following a condition report and initiation of appraisal, the painting was flipped verso on prepared surfaces and the custom eighty-piece aircraft aluminum stretcher was assembled. While the painting was being conditioned and stretched slowly, over twenty days, installation cleats and rigging were fabricated to meet required engineering specs. A modular suspension system was built to allow a small team of nine to roll the painting 115 yards from the assembly area to the installation wall where the piece was flipped to a vertical standing position and hoisted onto dual security pinned installation cleats. Rigging materials were then removed and minor wall touch ups were completed twenty-four hours ahead of required project deadlines thanks to astute team coordination throughout.

Additional Information

This project serves as both a Welcoming Attraction for Visitors and a Placemaking Initiative. The work connects the art and music culture of Oklahoma City to the United Kingdom and storied history of collaborative creation between Wayne Coyne and Damien Hirst. The massive painting is an unforgettable feature of the Oklahoma Convention Center Mezzanine Ballroom Lobby located on the third and fourth floors. The artwork installation was challenged by the slow stretch, intended to preserve the integrity of the work, and the limited clearance for the installation of rigging above the work. Custom rigging was engineered and fabricated to be able to stabilize the work during the delicate step of inverting and hoisting the 800-pound painting from a suspended position. The monumental canvas went up and was pinned in position over a six-hour manual cable rigging lift. Minimal heavy equipment was used during the project in order to preserve the condition of the facility and to provide maximum control during the installation process. Having an artwork of this nature on public display is especially unique even for a museum. We are pleased we were able to assist in making the public exhibition of this work possible for City residents and visitors.