Luna Luna art amusement park was a concept designed by artist and curator André Heller in Germany in 1987. He invited thirty big-name artists, such as Salvador Dali, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, to create a new museum format—a theme park where visitors can learn and appreciate art through the thrill of amusement park rides. Nearly 40 years later, Luna Luna was temporarily recreated in Los Angeles to allow a new generation to experience art education through play. It is an experience which allows visitors to learn while, at the same time, letting go of their stress and caring for their emotional well-being. This makes Luna Luna, the art amusement park, a meaningful step towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education and Good Health And Well-Being.

Without a doubt, Luna Luna’s most iconic piece is the late contemporary artist Keith Haring’s Painted Carousel. Keith Haring rose to fame in the 1980s because of his instantly recognizable line art, which filled his canvases from corner to corner as if they were patterns. Today, Haring is hailed as one of the decade’s most influential artists, inspiring the likes of Mr Doodle and leaving a legacy of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and AIDS research.

For Luna Luna, Haring aspired to create a playful carousel that was good enough to eat, complete with bright candy colours. Bold colour schemes have been a part of Haring’s signature style, which he uses to convey the anxiety of the times. Paired with a carousel, which takes its viewers round and round, Keith Haring creates a metaphor of the average person’s routine and the anxiety that disrupts it.

Fairground view of the Dalídom by Salvador Dalí. Image courtesy of Luna Luna’s website.

Another stand-out piece in Luna Luna is Dalídom by Salvador Dalí. The renowned surrealist, who is famous for melting clocks and painting elephants on stilts, has created his own version of a mirror house for Luna Luna. Dalídom takes the concept of a common mirror house, where visitors are challenged to find their way out in a maze made of mirrors, and amplifies it by having the mirrors cut into several geometric shapes. 

Standing inside a Dalídom, audiences ought to feel like they are standing inside a kaleidoscope, looking at themselves from odd perspectives they seldom see. This echoes Dalí ideas on surrealism, where he compiles objects that create odd associations as a way for people to access their inner thoughts and turmoils as they attempt to interpret them. Dalí has also heavily referenced psychoanalysis as the basis of his practice, showing that his game of associations, which helps people’s emotions and thoughts run wild, does intend to give his viewers some form of emotional and mental respite.

Inside of the Dalídom by Salvador Dalí. Image courtesy of @lunaluna/Instagram.

Aside from showcasing iconic artworks/rides from its original 1987 iteration, Luna Luna in Los Angeles delights its viewers by providing them with human circus performances. They also have the long-term goal of creating other iterations of Luna Luna in the future, including new rides made by up-and-coming contemporary artists. This shows Luna Luna’s commitment to keeping its original message alive: that art education can happen anywhere and anytime, all while being fun.

Performers at Luna Luna. Image courtesy of @lunaluna/Instagram.

Find out more about the Luna Luna art amusement park and its other initiatives by checking its Instagram page @lunaluna.

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