A Clockwork Orange, 1971
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
A Clockwork Orange, 1971

Details
A Clockwork Orange, 1971
Herman Makkink (1937-2013)
Christ Unlimited, 1970
Two painted polyester and fiberglass sculptures of a naked, crucified Jesus dancing as if in a chorus line, numbered in red paint at the underside of each right foot 6 and 8 from the edition of 9, acquired by Stanley Kubrick for the 1971 Warner Bros. film A Clockwork Orange
20¾in. high
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

Herman Makkink and his brother Cornelis shared a studio at the S.P.A.C.E. complex at St. Katherine’s docks in London. In 1969 Stanley Kubrick visited S.P.A.C.E. to get ideas for the set design of his upcoming production A Clockwork Orange, eventually borrowing two sculpture works from Herman, Christ Unlimited and Rocking Machine, and nine paintings from Cornelis for use as props in the film.

According to Herman, "...the Christ Unlimited figures were not designed especially for A Clockwork Orange. They formed part of my studio work at the time, and, after seeing them there, Kubrick wanted to use them for the film because they probably had the futuristic look he and his wife wanted. In the late sixties and early seventies, we, London based artists, felt terribly hip. We didn’t want to fight the establishment so much as shock them. Christ Unlimited was inspired by a crucified Christ statuette that I had found. The left arm and both legs from the waist down had been broken off. I replaced them in a more joyous pose – that of a dancer in the midst of a popular folk dance from the Balkans and the Middle East, known as The Butchers Dance.” Herman Makkink (© 2000 Drencrom V.O.F.)

Kubrick borrowed the full edition of nine dancing Christ's for use in the film, though only four are seen in Alex's bedroom, probably set up as a parallel to the four droogs of Alex's gang. Symbolically, the dancing Christ's were positioned just below the perch for the snake, which in turn was placed in front of an erotic painting of a woman by Cornelis Makkink.

The full edition was returned to Herman after filming. The vendors' mother purchased numbers 6 and 8 from the artist in the 1970s.

Related Articles

View all
The best exhibitions of summer auction at Christies

More from Pop Culture

View All
View All