Behold the World’s First Modern Art Amusement Park, Featuring Attractions by Salvador Dalí, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein & More (1987)

Think of the names David Hock­ney, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Roy Licht­en­stein, and Kei­th Har­ing, and one time peri­od comes vivid­ly to mind: the nine­teen-eight­ies, the blast radius of whose explo­sion of shape, col­or, and motion encom­passed every­thing from main­stream pop cul­ture to the avant-garde. One could expe­ri­ence this through movies, clothes, paint­ings, graph­ic design, archi­tec­ture, and even fur­ni­ture. But did any­one real­ly know the aes­thet­ic of the eight­ies, in its full high-low span, who did not vis­it Luna Luna, the first and only mod­ern-art amuse­ment park?

Staged in the sum­mer of 1987 in Ham­burg, the largest city in then West Ger­many, Luna Luna was con­ceived by the Aus­tri­an artist André Heller. Inspired by the cul­tur­al mem­o­ry of fair­grounds like Coney Island’s Luna Park and its many imi­ta­tors around the world, Heller made use of all his con­nec­tions to solic­it designs for attrac­tions from the super­star artists of the day.

“Vis­i­tors could get a lit­tle lost inside Sal­vador Dalí’s mir­rored fun house and spin around on a Kei­th Har­ing carousel,” writes Atlas Obscu­ra’s Sarah Durn. “They could take in the view from atop a daz­zling Jean-Michel Basquiat Fer­ris wheel while lis­ten­ing to Miles Davis.”

Else­where on the grounds, writes Jes­si­ca Stew­art at My Mod­ern Met, “Roy Licht­en­stein took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to design a col­or­ful glass struc­ture called the Pavil­ion of the Glass Labyrinth. Fit­ting­ly, it was accom­pa­nied by music by Philip Glass.” One won­ders what John Cage would have con­tributed to Luna Luna’s sound­track, but the com­pos­er of “4’33”’ was the only artist to turn Heller down. So reports the New York Times’ Joe Coscarel­li, in a piece on the cur­rent project to restore the near­ly for­got­ten Luna Luna (whose com­po­nents have spent the inter­ven­ing decades lan­guish­ing in ware­hous­es) and take it on tour. With a bud­get near­ing $100-mil­lion, it’s becom­ing a real­i­ty thanks to the involve­ment of a sur­pris­ing par­ty: the rap super­star Drake, who knows full well the val­ue of embody­ing the zeit­geist.

To com­ple­ment the restora­tion of his project, André Heller pub­lished this year Luna Luna: The Art Amuse­ment Park, a new book that doc­u­ments in pho­tographs this one-of-a-kind amuse­ment park. You can pur­chase copies of the 300+ page book online.

via Colos­sal

Relat­ed con­tent:

Who Designed the 1980s Aes­thet­ic?: Meet the Mem­phis Group, the Design­ers Who Cre­at­ed the 80s Icon­ic Look

When Sal­vador Dalí Dressed — and Angri­ly Demol­ished — a Depart­ment Store Win­dow in New York City (1939)

A Short Biog­ra­phy of Kei­th Har­ing Told with Com­ic Book Illus­tra­tions & Music

The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Paint­ings of Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Video Essay

Watch David Hock­ney Paint with Light, Using the Quan­tel Paint­box Graph­ics Sys­tem (1986)

Inside the Creepy, “Aban­doned” Wiz­ard of Oz Theme Park: Scenes of Beau­ti­ful Decay

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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