Luna Luna: Forgotten Art Amusement Park Revived in Spectacular Showcase

Luna Luna, the world's first art amusement park, opened in Hamburg in 1987 with rides and attractions designed by renowned artists. After closing, its assets were stored in Texas for 36 years before being rediscovered and showcased in a new exhibition in Los Angeles.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Luna Luna: Forgotten Art Amusement Park Revived in Spectacular Showcase

Luna Luna: Forgotten Art Amusement Park Revived in Spectacular Showcase

In 1987, the world's first art amusement park, Luna Luna, opened its gates in Hamburg, Germany, captivating visitors with an enchanting blend of rides, games, and attractions designed by renowned artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and David Hockney. However, the park's treasures were soon packed into 44 shipping containers and left forgotten in Texas for 36 years.

Now, the story of this fantastical fairground has been revived with the opening of Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy, a spectacular showcase that promises to be a must-see experience. The exhibition, which opened its doors in Los Angeles on May 10, 2024, brings the magic of Luna Luna back to life, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the whimsical world created by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

The original Luna Luna park was the brainchild of Austrian artist André Heller, who sought to create a unique space where art and amusement could coexist. Heller invited over 30 internationally acclaimed artists to contribute to the park, each designing a ride, game, or attraction that reflected their distinctive style and vision. The result was a mesmerizing collection of interactive artworks that challenged traditional notions of what an amusement park could be.

Despite its initial success, Luna Luna faced financial difficulties and was forced to close after just a few months. The park's assets were subsequently purchased by a Texas-based company and shipped to the United States, where they remained in storage for over three decades. It wasn't until a group of art enthusiasts and collectors rediscovered the forgotten treasures that the idea of reviving Luna Luna began to take shape.

The Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy exhibition showcases a selection of the original artworks, meticulously restored and adapted for indoor display. Visitors can explore a labyrinth designed by Keith Haring, ride a carousel created by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and marvel at a surreal fun house imagined by David Hockney. The exhibition also features never-before-seen sketches, models, and photographs documenting the park's creation and short-lived operation.

"Luna Luna was a groundbreaking project that pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the realm of art and entertainment," said exhibition curator Sarah Johnson. "By bringing these incredible works back into the public eye, we hope to inspire a new generation of artists and dreamers."

The Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy exhibition runs through September 30, 2024, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The revival of this long-lost art amusement park offers a rare glimpse into a visionary project that, although short-lived, left an indelible mark on the worlds of art and popular culture.

Key Takeaways

  • Luna Luna, the world's first art amusement park, opened in Hamburg, Germany in 1987.
  • The park featured rides and attractions designed by renowned artists like Basquiat, Haring, and Hockney.
  • After closing, the park's assets were stored in Texas for 36 years before being rediscovered.
  • The Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy exhibition in LA showcases restored original artworks.
  • The exhibition runs through September 30, 2024, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.