Phaidon revisits forgotten art amusement park designed by Haring, Hockney and more
In the summer of 1987, Hamburg launched an amusement park by the world’s most acclaimed artists. Decades later, a Phaidon book revisits the park ahead of restoration.
- Liz Gorny
- 8 February 2023
This February Phaidon Press will publish Luna Luna by André Heller, a book about the world’s first art amusement park with fully operational rides, attractions and visceral experiences designed by artists like Salvador Dalí and Keith Haring. The book, which was first published in German in 1987, marks the first English translation of the story of Luna Luna. It also coincides with the return of the original attractions to the world. In January 2022, a team of creatives rescued the project from obscurity and is currently restoring the original works ahead of a global tour in 2024 which will feature a new set of commissions from today’s most influential and innovative artists.
When the first Luna Luna launched in Hamburg in 1987, for a mere thirteen-week run, over 240,000 people visited. Among those first attractions at the park was a Ferris Wheel by Jean-Michel Basquiat and a carousel by Keith Haring, complete with seats in the shape of his well-known symbols. Visitors could also find an Enchanted Tree by David Hockney and a “hallucinatory spatial experience” titled the Dalí Dome, with a facade bordered by a frame of fried eggs, of course.
Despite the success of the original Luna Luna attraction and the roster of artists involved, the artworks themselves have fallen somewhat into obscurity since. Back in 1897, the amusement park was meant to go on global tour after its summer run, until “a change of ownership saw Luna Luna entangled in litigation and locked away in storage”, a press release explains. The original artworks were not seen again for over three decades.
Luna Luna showcases some of the incredible artworks and installations that attendees experienced. It follows the process of how the attractions came to be and explores original sketches as well as other design ephemera. The cover, for example, reveals a collage of moon graphics each Luna Luna artist created back in 1987. The book also features a glow in the dark case, and a double-sided jacket showing a poster of the original park.
GalleryPhaidon Press: Luna Luna by André Heller (Copyright © Phaidon Press, 2023)
Keith Haring. Carousel for Luna Luna. Picture credit: Sabina Sarnitz (pages 182-183). From Luna Luna by André Heller (Copyright © Phaidon Press, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.