Flying eyeball tattoo meaning (hotrod culture?)

Are you curious about the meaning behind the popular flying eyeball tattoo design?

Look no further! This unique and eye-catching tattoo has a rich history and symbolism that spans decades, from its origins in the hot rod and custom car culture of California to its association with counterculture movements like punk rock and psychedelic art.

In this article, we’ll delve into the deeper meanings behind this popular tattoo design and explore what it represents to those who choose to wear it. Get ready to soar with the flying eyeball tattoo!

The origin of the Flying eyeball tattoo

The Flying Eyeball has become a staple of hotrod culture, thanks to artist Kenny Howard, better known as Von Dutch. Howard popularized pinstriping vehicles and was one of the pioneers of the kustom kulture movement.

The Flying Eyeball logo, a design that transcends its original purpose, was meant to represent an all-seeing and all-knowing power above, reminding us that we are never truly alone.

Although Von Dutch passed away in 1992, his family allowed others to use his name and art. In the year 2000, the clothing brand Von Dutch Originals was purchased, and the corporate appropriation of the brand eventually led to its downfall in the 2010s.

Another potential origin story discussed on reddit

According to the comments in this Reddit thread, the origin of the flying eyeball design can be traced back to Rick Griffin’s artwork in Zap Comix #2 from 1968.

The design was later adapted and redrawn for Spaulding flash by Don Nolan. J. Fort is also mentioned as one of the first tattooists to use the design in the late 60s/early 70s.

The original flash for the design can be found on the Instagram page of @horivato.

Meanings behind the flying eyeball tattoo

flying eyeball tattoo representing hotrod culture

The flying eyeball tattoo is often worn as a symbol of hotrod culture, representing speed, rebellion, and a love for all things automotive.

It is also seen as a tribute to the pioneers of hotrodding, such as Von Dutch and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, who were instrumental in shaping the culture and aesthetic of the movement.

Flying eyeball tattoo representing the all-seeing eye

According to Von Dutch, the flying eyeball originated with the Macedonian and Egyptian cultures about 5000 years ago.

It was a symbol meaning “the eye in the sky knows all and sees all”, or something like that. Dutch got a hold of this symbol and modified it into the flyin’eyeball we know of today.

He always believed in reincarnation, and the eyeball, somehow, was tied to that.There have been numerous “incarnations” of this design over the years. It still remains an icon of the ’50s and ’60s street rod crowd.