Luna Luna Carnival was a traveling theme park that emerged in Hamburg in 1987 by the Viennese artist André Heller, featuring artwork from the likes of Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Over 30 artists were commissioned by Heller to create original carnival attractions, including rides, interactive sculptures, labyrinths, and pavilions. With the help of a $500,000 grant from a German magazine, Luna Luna featured attractions created by a huge variety of artists, including Keith Haring, Salvador Dali, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Joseph Beuys.
The show debuted in Hamburg, Germany in 1987 before moving on to the Netherlands and the US shortly after. Despite Heller’s ambitious aspirations for the project and the excellent line-up of participating artists, the exhibition only ever made it as far as Hamburg.
The amusement park was scheduled to travel around Europe, but it was forced to close because of ownership disputes and related legal actions. Following this plague of legal problems, Heller eventually sold it for $6 million to the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation in 1990.
After 35 years, the art carnival is on a journey of revival by Canadian Musician Drake. The original installations have spent the past 15 years in Texas before DreamCrew, Drake’s entertainment company, decided to bring the amusement park back to life. Following the $100 Million investment into the project, a documentary is set to air about the restoration, as well as publish a translation of a German book about the creation of Luna Luna.
The Amusement Park is set to open next year in North America, featuring the original installations, such as David Hockney’s enchanted forest and Keith Haring’s carousel. The park will be an incredible homage to these artists that were involved, celebrating their work within interactive installations that are perfect immortalisations of their legacies. Luna Luna is set to then go on an international tour in 2024, showcasing what it has to offer to the world.