Nearly four decades after its closure, the infamous Luna Luna amusement park, celebrated as a modern art hotspot, is expected to reopen its doors in Los Angeles. This remarkable revival is led by Canadian musician Drake and his entertainment enterprise, DreamCrew.
Their efforts aim to breathe life once again into this unique funfair, which will be hosted in a large 60,000-square-foot warehouse located in the heart of Los Angeles. An unveiling event for this distinctive project, entitled ‘Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy’ is scheduled for later this month.
The upcoming ‘Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy’ event is planned to feature a collection of attractions, meticulously crafted by some of the most renowned artists of our era, individuals such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Salvador Dalí, and David Hockney.
As an immersive and interacting art installation, this exhibit is expected to enthrall the audiences from its opening till the spring of 2024, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The Luna Luna amusement park holds a special place in the annals of pop culture for its eclectic blend of fun and art.
Originally being a temporary installation in Hamburg, Germany, during the summer of 1987, Luna Luna was the visionary creation of André Heller, an Austrian artist. Heller harnessed the potential of the most influential artists of that era and turned an ordinary space into a spectacle of art and amusement.
The uniqueness of Luna Luna resonates from its riveting array of rides and attractions. Among these were a magical musical forest designed by Hockney, a Ferris wheel adorned with drawings by Basquiat, a carousel created by Haring that featured seats crafted in the likeness of cartoon characters, and a dazzling funhouse mirror conceptualized by Dalí.
It should, however, be noted that not all original attractions will be accessible to the visiting guests. Certain age-old rides, including the Haring carousel and the Basquiat Ferris wheel, have been deemed unfit for operation by modern safety standards. The Los Angeles Times highlighted that such rides ‘most assuredly wouldn’t pass a 2023 inspection’.
Seeking to keep the spirit of their contributions alive, the park served as a nexus of memory and creativity for the artists involved. Keith Haring, a celebrated contributor who passed away due to AIDS-related complications at 31 in 1990, held a particular sentimental bond with Luna Luna.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s relationship with the amusement park was illuminated by his sister, Lisane Basquiat. Following his tragic passing from an overdose at age 27 in 1988, she recalled the joy and playfulness that venues like Luna Luna brought into his life.
Lisane shared that ‘Jean-Michel loved play and fun’. She went on to express that her brother cherished his visits to amusement parks, a recurrent joy from his childhood days in New York, specifically Brooklyn. She affirmed that amusement parks offered an ambiance that reflected Basquiat’s persona, making it an unexpectedly ideal place for him and his friends to unite and explore their creativity.