Back in 1987, an Austrian artist named André Heller created a unique amusement park, one that featured rides designed by such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salvador Dalí, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and David Hockney, among others.
Called Luna Luna, the carnival-style park was a “bridge between the so-called avant-garde— the artists who were a little snobbish sometimes and didn’t connect with the masses — and the so-called normal people,” Heller explained to The New York Times. Luna Luna was created by the Viennese artist André Heller in the late 1980s.
The park has been described as “trippy.” Even the mix of artists is eclectic. American artist Basquiat, who is of Haitian descent, was part of the Neo-expressionism movement. Dalí was a Spanish surrealist artist. Lichtenstein was an American pop artist popular in the 1960s. American Haring was known for his stick-figure, graffiti-style pop art of the 1980s. And British painter/photographer Hockney, the only artist of the three who is still alive, is known for his sparse pop art.
Haring designed a merry-go-round, Basquiat crafted a Ferris wheel, and Lichtenstein made a labyrinth featuring music by Philip Glass.
While Luna Luna was successful when it first opened in Hamburg, Germany, it was hit by financial challenges and soon shuttered. The rides and art pieces were stored in a warehouse for decades. The idea was for the carnival to travel the world.
Drake to the Rescue
Now hip-hop mogul Drake has come to the rescue. He has invested $100 million into reviving Luna Luna.
In 2019, when Michael Goldberg, a creative director and founder of Something Special Studios, learned about Luna Luna he brought idea of reviving the project to DreamCrew, Drake’s creative business venture.
“Within a 30-second conversation of ‘this existed,’ we were all in,” Anthony Gonzales, a partner in DreamCrew, tells the Times.
Drake was immediately hyped.
“When I first heard about Luna Luna I was blown away,” Drake, whose net worth is estimated to be $250 million, said.
Heller, now 75; his musician son; Goldberg; an art lawyer; a start-up founder; and Drake are all working together to bring back Luna Luna.
“It’s such a unique and special way to experience art,” Drake told The Times. “This is a big idea and opportunity that centers around what we love most: bringing people together.”
The restored park is set to debut in Los Angeles in fall 2023 before traveling to other parts of the U.S., The Smithsonian reported. In 2024, it will embark on an international tour.
The new Luna Luna will feature original pieces in addition to newly commissioned art pieces that capture the original Luna Luna concept.