Newly Discovered Man Ray 1969 Lithograph “Les Invendables” (The Unsaleables) Includes the Surrealist’s Minotaur Homage to His Personal Friend and Black Dahlia Killer, Dr. George Hill Hodel

Los Angeles, California
December 29, 2016
1969 MAN RAY MINOTAUR HOMAGE TO HIS GOOD FRIEND, DR. GEORGE HILL HODEL

(Left) Man Ray 1969 Lithograph depicting posed female body, her face covered with blood and blood flowing out of her upper torso to form the body and legs of the Minotaur. (The Minotaur, was the mythological, half-man-half-bull creature imprisoned in the Labyrinth, on the island of Crete who prayed and fed upon young maidens. Man Ray and the other surrealists adopted The Minotaur as their pet symbol and even named their magazine after him.
(Right) Shows original 1947 crime scene photo of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short with head and upper torso superimposed into Man Ray lithograph. The 1969 poster created some twenty-two years after the crime, is Man Ray’s recognition of his crime and a return homage to his good friend of decades earlier, Dr. George Hill Hodel, aka, The Minotaur. (Man Ray and Hodel’s friendship lasted a full decade in Hollywood from 1940-1950)
1947 DR. GEORGE HODEL MINOTAUR HOMAGE TO HIS GOOD FRIEND, MAN RAY
Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short’s body seen posed at the crime scene by George Hodel. The surgical trauma to her face and body was meant to mimic Man Ray’s two most famous artworks: MINOTAUR & LES AMOUREUX (THE LOVERS LIPS) (trauma/cuttings to body airbrushed over)
A few days ago, while conducting some research on the Internet, I chanced upon a Man Ray lithograph, that I had never seen.It was a poster announcing an upcoming Man Ray Exhibition, “Les Invendables” (The Unsaleables) to be held at the Galerie Alphonse Chave, in Vence, France. The exhibit ran for two months,  in April and May 1969.
Photo of Alphonse Chave Gallery (Coincidentally and ironically the art gallery was founded in 1947, the same year as the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.)

 

 

 

 


1969 MAN RAY – Les Invendables catalog 

Further searches led me to the discovery of an on-line original 1969 brochure/catalog featuring the exhibit, which included an introduction by Man Ray written in French.

 

 

 

Mssr. Yves Person, Paris, France 2015
On December 27, 2016, I sent the below short email to my good friend, Yves Person in Paris, asking if he might translate Man Ray’s words. (Yves is the high school teacher who “cracked the Zodiac cipher” after discovering that George Hodel used the ancient Celtic “tree alphabet” OGHAM to sign his name (“HODEL”) in an authenticated cipher he mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1970.  (See Most Evil (Rare Bird Books 2015) Chapter 10 for complete details of Mssr. Person’s decryption and solving of the Zodiac cipher.)
My Email to YP:
Yves:
Between gradings could you take a peek at the attached text which Man Ray wrote for the 1969 catalog Les Invendables.  Anything there of interest?  How do you interpret the name he uses?  The unsellables?  Meaning works that he would not or could not sell?  Or works that did not sell?  Any clue in his written text? (attached)
Best,  Steve
YP’s response with translation:
Steve,
As I translated it in a previous message, “les invendables” means : “things that couldn’t be sold”. One says : “C’est invendable !” to speak of something too ugly or too damaged for someone to sell it.
Yves then provided the translation of Man Ray’s words:
“The unsalable // Why ? Because the name is the only thing which is for sale. Without a signature, the picture is worthless. You must buy (take) them both (away) (at the same time). Some people turn the painting backward to see if it’s made out of a good and fine linen canvas. / The painter handle his hairy stick as the barber does with his shaving brush, as the musician does with his bow, and as the soldier does with his machine gun ; and so they handle. their sex to pee or to make love. / Truth ? Nothing more subversive than truth. ”
MAN RAY
Now, deal with that…
Best,   Y.
We now know that Man Ray, William Copley and Marcel Duchamp, each created their own separate artwork to acknowledge and pay homage (post-crime) to Dr. George Hill Hodel’s “Surreal Masterpiece.”
Seen below, Juliet Man Ray with her “Three Amigos” Man Ray, William Copley, and Marcel Duchamp.Photo taken on board the S.S. De Grasse, prior to its departure for Paris, March 12, 1951

 

 

The Homage Puzzle- Fitting the Pieces

 

 

  Homage Piece No. 1- William Copley, 1961 “It is Midnight Dr. ______.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homage Piece No. 2- Man Ray  “Les Invendables”  April, 1969

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man Ray’s homage “Les Invendables” presented in April, 1969 fits perfectly into the timeline.  How?

Marcel Duchamp died at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France on 2 October 1968.
Duchamp, age 81,  had just retired after dining with his good friends, Man Ray and the art critic, Robert Lebel.  Unexpectedly, he collapsed and died of heart failure in his studio at 1:05 AM.
Marcel Duchamp’s Etant Donnes homage to the Black Dahlia Murder (shown below), was a twenty-year work in progress (1947-1967), which the artist had created in secret.  Under Duchamp’s specific written instructions, the work could
not be shown to the public until after his death.  Further, it was to be assembled (using detailed instructions from Duchamp) by his good friend, William Copley. Copley had purchased and was gifting the piece to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After Duchamp’s passing in October, 1968, arrangements were made to assemble the piece at the museum with a public opening set for July 7, 1969.
So, the timing becomes obvious. Man Ray’s homage to the Dahlia Murder and George Hodel came only after the death of his close friend, Marcel Duchamp who had been working on his own homage to the crime for twenty years.
Further, Man Ray chose to reveal his own homage just two months in advance of the Etant Donnes opening, and included it as an “unsaleable” in his own one man show/exhibit at the Gallery Alphone Chave in April/May 1969.

 

Homage Piece No. 3 Marcel Duchamp  “Etant Donnes”  July 7, 1969

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SKH Note- Of course there are numerous other connections and linkages showing that these “three surrealist amigos” all had knowledge that George Hodel was the killer. All have been extensively documented in my previous investigation, but the focus here is on the newly discovered Man Ray “Les Invendables.”
Inarguably, this Man Ray lithograph is a visual confirmation, (along with the Copley and Duchamp artworks) that Man Ray recognized the posing of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short’s body was a  signature work, a masterpiece,  by the artist, George Hodel, the living embodiment of, The Minotaur.  

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. luigi warren says:

    Steve: Interesting how the distinctive outline of the hair in the painting recalls L’EQUIVOQUE (1943). This doesn’t look good for the “Three Amigos,” that’s for sure. -LW

    • LW: As I’ve noted before, you sure don’t miss much. Great minds must think alike. Ie. I got a call from my good friend Robert “Dr. Watson” Sadler, the retired Dallas PD detective, this morning. He pointed out that the blocking out of the face in the 1969 “Invendables” was very reminiscent of Man Ray’s 1943 painting “L’Equivoque.” (As we know, Elizabeth Short was very likely the life model for that painting.) Robert’s preparing a comparison as I type. And yes, the hairstyle down to the eight separate curls (count em 8!) and their coloring identical to his original “L’Equivoque” painting, so has to be another wink-and-nod-and-wink.

  2. Luigi Warren says:

    Steve: The myth of the Minotaur that lives at the heart of the Labyrinth is a perfect analogy for this case. I’d actually been thinking about that idea quite a bit the last few days. Evidently GHH’s artistic chums felt the same way. -LW

  3. I’ll be honest with you. At first i thought you were yet another crackpot making confirmation bias conclusions, but i still came in objective as possible and gave you the benefit of the doubt and continued to look through your evidence that your father is indeed, the Black Dahlia Killer. I’ve spent months off and on, sifting through all the evidence and suspects i could find. I became obsessed with this case, so to speak. I looked at what evidence was available through the official investigations, and i must say that the evidence you have shown me is much much much more compelling than anything i have seen in the investigations by LA detectives or any other who has worked the case.

    I have seen people convicted on much less circumstantial evidence. You my friend are doing a wonderful job and i hope you continue to pursue this as aggressively as you can. I wouldn’t be confident and go as far as suggesting he’s also Zodiac, another case that i have put many hours of research into, but you certainly have some compelling stuff on this particular case of The Black Dahlia. This case may go unsolved for the rest of time. But who knows. One of these days, you may hit the nail on the head and find something that blows it wide open. Cheers, and good luck on your investigation.

    • Mr. M: Thanks for the kind words. Glad you found the Dahlia evidence compelling. As you may know, in regards to the Zodiac investigation, in Most Evil (Dutton 2009) I made no claim to it being “solved.” Only that based on the findings I believed GHH needed to go to the top of the list and “Let’s get confirmed DNA and compare it to the full profile I have on him. (LE, now seven years later, has yet to obtain confirmed DNA on Zodiac.) However, with the publication of Most Evil II (Rare Bird Books 2015) and the French high school teacher, Yves Person’s “cracking of the authenticated Zodiac cipher” sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1970, I am now claiming in my opinion that the “Case is Solved.” Zodiac cipher is five letters written in the ancient Celtic alphabet “Ogham” and they spell H O D E L. Noone has yet refuted his and my findings on that and other linkage presented in 2015. Regards, SKH
      See video showing cipher decryption here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQj6KPlK7Nk&t=42s

      • That’s pretty compelling stuff as well. I must say, when it comes to your evidence in particular, i’m a little behind on your Fathers links to Zodiac. While researching Zodiac i mainly concentrated on the main suspects. I’m gonna ask a personal question, and forgive me if i cross the line; but i’ve been wondering about your fathers motive or your own opinions as to why he would even be so sadistic in nature. I read through the FAQ and you stated your grandfather treated you well on the few occasions you had seen him. But i couldn’t find anything pertaining to the treatment of your father or what environment he was raised in.

        My main curiosity is about your fathers upbringing. I believe your sister mentioned she was sexually abused by your father and his more notable guests on occasions. Typically, many serial killers have troubling backgrounds, and many of those who sexually abuse their children, were sexually abused themselves. Did anything happen in your father’s life that would have turned him into such a dangerous person? Do you believe his upbringing had anything to do with the person he would eventually become? I feel like there’s some missing pieces to this puzzle regarding his character and personality, and i’m simply trying to understand what makes a person like your father do such horrible things and have such disregard for human life.

        You don’t have to feel obligated to accept this post if it makes you uncomfortable. You may have been asked this very question a million times, but i’m having problems finding anything definitive and i haven’t read your book yet, but i’m considering it greatly. I’m sure it has all the finer details. Hope i didn’t get too personal. Cheers.

        • Mr. M: Yes, most (probably all) of the answers to your questions are included in my four books, which are really just one investigation spanning three decades.(1940-1970.) The first third of my first book, BDA examines the amazing biography of my father and includes many of the potential “triggers” that eventually led to his becoming a misogynist and sadist of the highest order. Too much to attempt to relate here. Suggest to start with the 2015 edition of Black Dahlia Avenger (SkyHorse/Arcade) which contains the updated chapters. BDA II (Thoughtprint Press 2014 ed.) contains much more including the “hard physical evidence” connecting GHH to the actual crime scene, along with the complete DA Files that include the recorded transcripts of his multiple confessions to several murders and his payoffs to police and performing abortions etc. Additional whys (triggers) are examined in the later books. Again, my best. SKH

        • Read the books!

  4. Hi Steve, I think this new picture shows a lot of the mindset too of the surrealists and GHH as the killer. Was there a part of your father that wanted to be caught and/or killed himself? The reason I ask is because the Minotaur was killed at the end of the tale and that weird finding on the beach of a pile of clothes and the shoes and the cryptic note to lead one to think that the killer had committed suicide seem to indicate, to me anyway, that your father also wanted to be caught and had a death wish himself. Also the writing on the wall in the Brown killing in Chicago and the Susan Degnan note again “Catch me if you can” and “I can’t stop myself” point that direction as well. Yet he doesn’t commit suicide until the very end of his life. Maybe he wanted people and cops particularly to THINK that he wanted to be caught and or kill himself when really he was going to “kill more” as long as he could.

    • Steve Hodel says:

      Kathy G. Yes, the “suicide” threats occurred in Chicago Lipstick Murders, Dahlia, and in Zodiac, so just part of his ploy to let/make LE think he took his life so no need to look any further. The only reason I believe he actually took his life at 91 years was not for remorse for his crimes, but rather his fear of becoming incapacitated and hospitalized and running up huge medical expenses. He had no quality of life and was bedridden by then and had explored euthanasia for several years. So, he wrote the prescription for Seconal pills for June. She saved them up and when he had enough for a lethal dose, then took them.

  5. Luigi Warren says:

    Steve: One wonders what other symbols or allusions might be in there. From ALPHABET FOR ADULTS (Man Ray, Copley Galleries, Beverly Hills, 1948): “Concentration is the desired end, as in an anagram whose density is its destiny.” Stylistically, the outline does bear a resemblance to the whimsical pictograms in that book, so maybe there could be the hint of an initial or two? The overall shape of the figure recalls Man Ray’s 1920 piece THE RIDDLE, OR THE ENIGMA OF ISIDORE DUCASSE, a rather sinister image showing an unknown object (actually an objectified/dehumanized female represented by a sewing machine) tied up in a blanket. The Isidore Ducasse/sewing machine reference is to LES CHANTS DE MALDOROR, an extended prose poem celebrating a crazed, evil-embodying murderer that was much revered by the Surrealists. Perhaps the “Enigma” is resolved? -LW

  6. Steve Hodel says:

    LW: Yes, I included as you may recall, a copy of the Man Ray “Enigma” photograph and the quote in BDA I back in 2003. Will be presenting some additional important connections and observations on the Copley/Man Ray art soon. skh

    “By 1920, at least two statements by the French author had attained near legendary status: his observation that, “Poetry must be made by all, not by one.” And his oft-quoted “Lovely as the fortuitous encounter on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” It was of course, this bizarre, though visually provocative, exemplar of beauty that Man Ray illustrated in The Riddle. “When I read Lautréamont,” he later explained, “I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of unusual objects and works.” Even more important, he was drawn to the count’s “world of complete freedom.”*

    • Luigi Warren says:

      Steve: Regarding Ducasse/Lautréamont’s LES CHANTS DE MALDOROR, which provides a template for the Degnan murder, this seems to have been an attempt to “push the envelope” (recalling Baudelaire’s famous formulation, “Il faut épater le bourgeois”) by aestheticizing the imagined exploits of a crazed sex murderer. The closest parallel I’ve found would be De Sade’s JULIETTE, another proto-Decadent work, which is itself a strong candidate for the source of Zodiac’s “Paradise Slaves” mythos. MALDOROR was apparently not widely read in English but, since your father seems to have been reading the Decadent authors in French back in the twenties, he may well have encountered it as a teenager — Huysmans and de Gourmont (two of his favorite authors per Ted le Berthon) were big fans. Man Ray seems to have gotten into MALDOROR and other Decadent-themed literature (including Villiers’ L’EVE FUTURE) around 1920 — very likely he bonded with GHH over these shared, recherché interests when they met years later. Judging by GHH’s adolescent poem INFERENCE, it appears he may have been attempting to start a poetry cycle with a similar mythos in his abortive literary magazine, FANTASIA. Probably at that time he envisaged it as a purely literary project, on the same lines as Ducasse’s effort (Isadore Ducasse and George Hodel seem to have been rather similar personalities). Around the same time (mid-twenties) we have GHH being patronized and humiliated by the woman who bore his child, and then portrayed pseudononymously as a pretentious literary buffoon-turned-borderline thug by Ted Le Berthon in a column in the LA Evening Herald (probably some sort of attempted intervention on the part of his bohemian friends). One wonders what GHH’s relationship with his formerly doting parents was after being kicked out of Caltech — it looks like he was thrown back on his own financial resources at this point. A considerable comedown from being covered in the newspapers for giving private piano recitals to Rachmaninoff and visiting political dignitaries, playing the Shrine Auditorium, winning the spelling bee and being admitted to Caltech at 15 years of age. Anyway, after driving a cab and crime reporter jobs filing weirdly aestheticized dispatches from various murder scenes, he heads up north to attend medical school and makes a strong recovery utilizing his many gifts, returning to LA after a long absence as an accomplished man-of-the-world with a beautiful house, a retinue of wives and paramours, and a network of social connections in the arts, medicine, government, police, and the criminal underworld. And we must wonder what became of the project heralded by INFERENCE. -LW

      • LW: Yes, so many literary sources then throw the Roman and Greek mythology into the mix and it emerges as one gigantic cluster fu$%! (Your mention of I Claudius inspired me to binge watch the series, which was great. Their family was as messed up as the HODELS, but at least they kept in “in house.” But, GHH’s fascination with names and their meanings was truly obsessive. Tamar after Robinson Jeffers poem on INCEST, Tarbaby for his kidnap vehicle, and on and on. Ironically, on June 2, 1999 (coincidentally, the birthday of Marquis de Sade) the boat that June rode out on and crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge to scatter his ashes was named: The Naiad.

        (Definition) naiads (NYE-adz or NAY-adz)
        Nymphs of springs, ponds and rivers. Like other nymphs, naiads were young and beautiful female sprites. They were divine but not immortal.

        So even in death GHH was escorted to the river Styx by beautiful women. Go Figure. Steve

        • Luigi Warren says:

          Steve: I would love to know the backstory to that Ted Le Berthon column. What on earth could have been going on to prompt him to write such a strange article? The events are almost a century old now, though the full ramifications may have taken decades to unfold, and the actors are long gone. I guess that is part of the fascination — how much can still be pieced together about the past from this distant vantage point? Was your father crushed, did he think “I’ll show them!,” or was it all water off a duck’s back to a supreme egotist? Looking forward to the results of your researches. -LW

  7. Luigi Warren says:

    We are gradually catching up with you, Steve. I think it’s pretty obvious by now that George Hill Hodel was a full-fledged, high-functioning psychopath, comparable to Uncle Charlie in Hitchcock’s SHADOW OF DOUBT or, in real life, to H. H. Holmes and a dozen other infamous examples. Once one accepts that, the rest (including his identity with the Zodiac) follows easily enough. -LW

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