Christ Unlimited (Dancing Christs) sculptures by Herman Makkink as seen in A Clockwork Orange

As seen in:

Designer: Herman Makkink

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Christ Unlimited are sculptures by the artist Herman Makkink (1937-2013) of naked, crucified Jesus dancing as if in a chorus line.

They were originally made in sets of 2 in an edition of 9 in 1970. Edition numbers 6 and 8* of this edition were the exact Makkink sculptures acquired by Stanley Kubrick for the 1971 Warner Bros film A Clockwork Orange. They appear as two pairs, four Christs (presumably to echo the four droogs), on Alex’s bedside table in his bedroom at his parents’ flat.

*awaiting verification

Original editions

A set of two Christ Unlimited sculptures from the 1970 edition (from the screen used set which appeared in A Clockwork Orange) were sold by Christies in 2014 for £7,500 (numbered 6 and 8 in red paint at the underside of each right foot, each sized at 20 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 8 in. (52.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm). These Christies auction pieces were sold by the vendors’ mother who purchased numbers 6 and 8 from the artist in the 1970s.

Herman Makkink and his brother Cornelis Makkink 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 Makkink, Christ Unlimited and Rocking Machine, and nine paintings from Cornelis Makkink for use as props in the film.

Regarding Kubrick’s selection of this artwork, Herman Makkink remarked: “…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.’

Kubrick borrowed the full edition of nine dancing Christ’s for use in the film, though only two pairs are seen in Alex’s bedroom. The full edition was returned to Herman Makkink after filming. 

Some years later, the value had increased significantly: A set of three Christ Unlimited 1970 editions numbered 1, 3 and 5 with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000 sold in a Phillips auction for $20,000

Later editions

In 2005, Medicom Toy released an official edition of 20-inch Christ Unlimited sculptures sold in pairs of two. Three years later, the value of the figures had doubled, according to a Phillips de Pury 2008 auction. In 2009, another Japanese company, Nexus VII, released an even more limited all-black Christ Unlimited multiple. 

Christ Unlimited by Herman Makkink, Medicom editions available to purchase

We are thrilled to announce that after extensive F&F-style research and numerous discussions, the Herman Makkink Estate has entrusted Film and Furniture as a representative of Christ Unlimited and Rocking Machine.

Unused, boxed, official editions of Christ Unlimited which formed part of Herman Makkink’s own collection are now available through Film and Furniture.

Specifications:
• Materials: Painted polyester and fiberglass. 
• Size, each – 20 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 8 in. (52.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm.)
• Medicom edition
• Provenance: These sets are from Herman Makkink’s own collection.

Price available on request.

Christ Unlimited is protected under national and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

For current prices and details, please email us at [email protected] 

New editions

We’ve had news that these sculptures may be rereleased in a new edition at some stage. We have our ear to the ground on this so please get in touch at [email protected] if you want to be notified when these are released

If you have any of the past editions of the Christ Unlimited sculptures to sell, please also get in touch.

Interestingly the dancing Christs and the Rocking Machine by Herman Makkink also featured in the Tinto Brass film Dropout (1970), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero. Brass was also considered at one point for directing A Clockwork Orange.