A Dazzling Gallery of Clockwork Orange Tattoos


Alex, the pro­tag­o­nist of Antho­ny Burgess’ A Clock­work Orange takes teenage rebel­lion to psy­chot­ic extremes, but one act he and his droogs nev­er indulge in is get­ting tat­tooed. It doesn’t even seem to be on their radar. How dif­fer­ent things were in 1962, when the book was pub­lished!

I have no doubt that direc­tor Stan­ley Kubrick (or design­er Mile­na Canonero) could have devised some icon­ic ink for the 1971 film adap­ta­tion, but it would’ve been gild­ing the lily. Movie Alex Mal­colm McDow­ell’s sin­gle false eye­lash is so arrest­ing as to be instant­ly rec­og­niz­able. It deserved its star billing on the updat­ed book cov­er that coin­cid­ed with the film’s release.

It’s also just one of many Clock­work Orange-inspired images that dec­o­rates fans’ hides now that tat­too­ing has hit the main­stream. What would Alex think?

The lit­tle mon­ster’s ego would’ve have rel­ished the noto­ri­ety, but I bet he’d have had a snick­er, too, at the lengths to which eager chellovecks and devotchkas will go. It’s the kind of thing his dim droo­gie Dim would do—mark him­self up per­ma­nent when he could’ve just as well have bought a tote­bag.


Whether or not you per­son­al­ly would con­sid­er mak­ing a salute to A Clock­work Orange a life­long fea­ture of your birth­day suit, it’s hard not to admire the com­mit­ment of the pas­sion­ate lit­er­a­ture and film lovers who do.

In assem­bling the gallery below, we’ve opt­ed to for­go the pho­to­re­al­is­tic por­traits of McDowell—particularly the ones that recre­ate the aver­sion ther­a­py scene—in favor of the graph­ic, the cre­ative, the jaw drop­ping, the sly… and the unavoid­able Hel­lo Kit­ty mash up, which we’re kind of hop­ing wash­es off.

Clockwork Tattoo 4

Clockwork Tattoo 6

Clockwork Tattoo 5

Clockwork Tattoo 7

Clockwork Tattoo 8

Clockwork Tattoo 9


Clockwork Tattoo 11


Clockwork Tattoo 13

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Mak­ing of Stan­ley Kubrick’s A Clock­work Orange

Watch The Simp­sons’ Hal­loween Par­o­dy of Kubrick’s A Clock­work Orange and The Shin­ing

15 Great Films Adapt­ed From Equal­ly Great Nov­els

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, home­school­er, and car­toon­ist, whose lat­est com­ic cel­e­brates Civ­il War fire­brand, “Crazy Bet” Van Lew. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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  • Diana says:

    I saw this movie way too young and it did some per­ma­nent scar­ring. Like a lot of things in under­ground cul­ture, I wish I could embrace. The Hel­lo Kit­ty tat is at least, inno­v­a­tive. The inside of the orange, tres tres steam punk. I like it.

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