A Basquiat Ferris Wheel & Dalí Funhouse? Only in L.A.

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The Hottest Date Spot for Celeb Couples in L.A.Joshua White/JWPictures.com

Thirty-seven years ago an Austrian artist and showman named André Heller got 30 or so fellow artists to help him build an avant-garde amusement park called Luna Luna. Keith Haring covered a merry-go-round with his signature figures. Salvador Dalí decorated a surrealistic funhouse with mirrors and images of fried eggs. Rebecca Horn built the interactive Love Thermometer. And Jean-Michel Basquiat transformed an antique Ferris wheel with paintings and music by Miles Davis (Painted Ferris Wheel With Music (1987, above).

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We can thank Drake for resurrecting Luna Luna and bringing the avant-garde amusement park to L.A.Joshua White/JWPictures.com

It opened at a fairground in Hamburg, Germany, and drew crowds for seven weeks, but then, despite positive reviews, the financing fell through and a world tour was called off. Rides, exhibitions, and promotional materials were packed up and left untouched until 2022, when a group of producers, led by the musician Drake, decided to restage part of Luna Luna in a warehouse in Los Angeles. The show, which opened last December, has won new admirers, including a steady stream of celebrity couples out on date night (Selena Gomez and Benny Blanco, Barry Keoghan and Sabrina Carpenter). And no wonder. Along with long-forgotten artworks by a group that also included David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein, attendees have discovered something almost as rare: fun.

This story appears in the April 2024 issue of Town & Country in a package titled "26 Rooms Shaping Culture." SUBSCRIBE NOW

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