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Luna Luna: The Art Amusement Park

Luna Luna

The book by André Heller tributes the world’s first and forgotten art amusement park – in anticipation of its global reintroduction

By Joseph Cicerone
Photography by Sabina Sarnitz

When Luna Luna debuted in Hamburg in 1987, nearly 250,000 people visited. The first-of-its-kind art amusement park enlisted more than 30 of the era’s most acclaimed artists to design unique and fully operational fairground attractions specifically for the park. Among those attractions was a Ferris Wheel by Jean-Michel Basquiat and a carousel by Keith Haring. Yet, after a mere thirteen-week run, the iconic spectacular came to an end. Initially slated for a global tour, it was instead forgotten, and never truly recognized for its unique benefaction to the global art world. In a tribute to Luna Luna, founding Austrian artist André Heller has commemorated the avant-garde amusement park and its esteemed designs in a Phaidon-published monograph.

Luna Luna: The Art Amusement Park
$65, Phaidon.

Translated from German to English, Luna Luna is a reissue of the amusement park’s original text with an updated preface by Heller.

“For 35 years, the works of Luna Luna were buried alive in forty-four shipping containers, and it is thanks to one of the most undoubtedly extraordinary people of our time that this treasure has finally been unearthed: Drake.”

That’s right, the book’s publishing comes not only in an effort to recognize the collaborative genius of the Hamburg attraction, but in anticipation of its revival and 2024 global tour.

Luna Luna Keith Haring
Keith Haring, (page 173). Working on the carousel.

Within the books 336 pages, this work profiles the roster of artists involved from Salvador Dalí to Rebecca Horn. In resurrecting the traditional fairground attractions and even adding some that had never been seen before, Heller’s collection achieves his desire to immortalize the beloved park, the artistry of its creators and its impact.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat (pages 110-11).

The book provides a rare visual tour documenting the works in full detail, including the artists’ process of creation and accompanied by their original sketches. For the first time, but not the last, Luna Luna brings one of art history’s greatest kept secrets to the masses. PHAIDON.COM.

Categories: Arts & Culture


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