Christian Ludwig Attersee

Christian Ludwig Attersee’s contribution to the 1987 Luna Luna park was the Swinging Pirate Ship Ride

Inspired by his experience as a sailor, Christian Ludwig Attersee designed a version of the “pirate ship” fairground attraction for Luna Luna.

Artist

Christian Ludwig Attersee

Attraction

Swinging ship ride

Born

1940

His work combines music, speech, photography, video, and painting

Sailing, water, and the weather have been lifelong sources of inspiration and recurring themes in Attersee’s work

He represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1984

Fairground view: Christian Ludwig Attersee, Swinging ship ride. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Fairground view: Christian Ludwig Attersee, Swinging ship ride. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Over the last seven decades, Christian Ludwig Attersee has created a prolific body of work in painting, music, photography, set and object design, and video. Attersee grew up near Lake Attersee in Upper Austria and became an award-winning sailor, later choosing to use Attersee as his artist name.

Attersee developed his own style of abstraction from the mid-1970s onwards, and is frequently described as the founder of “New Austrian Painting”.

Attersee’s early works are bold, brightly colored graphic paintings depicting objects from daily life with humor and irony. Like much Pop Art, paintings such as Torte mit Speisekugeln und Speiseblau (1967)—a depiction of a melting cake with the name “Attersee” spelled out in frosting—play with the visual language of commercial graphics. Following his brief involvement in performances staged by Viennese Actionists (including Günter Brus and Jörg Immendorf, both contributors to Luna Luna), Attersee developed his own style of abstraction from the mid-1970s onwards, and is frequently described as the founder of “New Austrian Painting”. Deeply inspired by his connection to the elemental world as a sailor, his paintings offer joyful explorations of nature, the human body, and sexuality, blending reality and fantasy with loose brushstrokes and vivid colors.

Christian Ludwig Attersee.

Christian Ludwig Attersee, Preparatory sketches for swinging ship ride, exhibited 1987.

For Luna Luna, Attersee designed a version of the popular “pirate ship” fairground attraction in which a mechanical ship swings back and forth on a metal and wood structure painted in the colors of the Austrian flag. Panels painted with fantastical underwater creatures surround the moving ship, while a soundtrack of Viennese songs sung by Austrian actors Willi Forst, Hans Moser, and Paul Hörbinger plays.

Christian Ludwig Attersee.

Fairground view: Christian Ludwig Attersee, Swinging ship ride. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Discover more about your favorite artists and attractions

In the original Luna Luna book, translated and reissued for the first time since 1987.