Surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Man Ray
I Wanted to share some early comments from my “Man in the Street”, J.R. Neumiller.
“J.R.” has followed my investigation and made regular personal comments and observations since the original publication of Black Dahlia Avenger back in April 2003. Here is his latest e-mail sent to me after his reading of my just published, Most Evil II:
From: J.R. Neumiller
To: Steve Hodel
September 19, 2015
Well, you did it. You genuinely cracked the case. When I read the jacket and saw this ancient letter-form language being referenced, I thought, “Oh, George has been into some real esoteric stuff. “
Yes, he surely had been, but your tracking down of the real source of his ogham involvement brought everything full circle. He was a frustrated ARTIST, and could never come up with anything original on his own. Like the Salieri character from Amadeus, his gift was one of appreciation rather than genuine creativity.
Ah, but he could kill. And lend some style into that. Amazing his Dada crew was so spiritually attuned to that same sentiment – no wonder he was probably held in awe by many in those circles.
Yes, you have really run this much further to ground than probably even you imagined. The whole “murder as fine art” angle, which you developed right from the start, is definitively the linking element that turns up in everything GHH does. He was a “patron” of the finest order, and truly appreciated all things eclectic and deviant. (I wonder if anyone will take the time and expose these people for who they really are. And, as Salvador Dali is the most well known Surrealist, why is he so little connected with the GHH crew? Rival camps?)
It’s undeniable, Steve. You really solved this. I’ve been rolling this around, trying to find flaws or faults, but it totally fits. The entire purpose of the Halloween card was to reveal his identity. He used that symbol twice in it’s contents, meaning he was very deliberate in his intention. Whether anyone can account for all the symbology in all the elements in that card is beside the point. You cracked your father’s Dada code that he felt so clever and connected in using.
(Your father would be very impressed right now, if he weren’t in so much current pain.)
Amazing job, my friend, and congrats on FINALLY nailing this to the wall. If you had not developed this artists angle so thoroughly in all your previous books, it simply would not have stood out so starkly. With it, it’s not, “Yeah, maybe it happened that way,” but “Of course it happened that way! It totally fits.”
I’ve tried around a few of the boards this morning and several of them are actually closed and are not posting anything new——(website name redacted by skh) had the usual childish banter, but no seeming awareness that all their pet fantasies are now come to a complete end.
Post some fallout as you find it on your blog. (Still wish it had an auto-notification feature so you wouldn’t have to manually alert users of new content.) I’ll keep searching on my own, but it seems hard to find an open board where I can leave comments and push this in their face.
Many kudos again, Steve, for your dogged and committed efforts to find the truth. Thank God for all His undeniable mercies.
In his e-mail, J.R. asks:
“Salvador Dali is the most well-known Surrealist, why is he so little connected with the GHH crew? Rival camps?
Good question J.R. I am not an expert as relates to the Surrealist Movement. However, my investigation has given me a cursory introduction to some of the main players and their interactions with each other both in the U.S. and abroad, mainly in Paris.
I do not know if my father ever met Salvador Dali, but there were clearly opportunities for them to meet during Dali’s several visits to Los Angeles and Hollywood in the mid-and-late 1940s. We do have photographs of Man Ray and Dali together during the filming of Hitchcock’s Spellbound in 1945.
As you know, in BDA II I make what I believe are my father’s connections and references to Dali’s “Dream Sequence” which George plagiarized from Hitchcock’s 1945 film, Spellbound. I believe both the Juliet Stocking Mask (1945) and the “eyes” from the Spellbound set design, which as Zodiac George reproduced on his 1970 Halloween Card, mailed to Paul Avery (“Averly”) at the San Francisco Chronicle.(This is the same card that he signed his real name to in a coded cipher and is just now “cracked” and revealed in Most Evil II.)
Dali eyes from Spellbound set compared to eyes drawn on Halloween card by Zodiac
When I was originally researching Man Ray and the other Dadaists, I recall references that most of the Man Ray followers had a falling out with Dali. Sounded like it was over jealousy of his success and popularity and the fact he was receiving huge sums of money for his artwork, while they remained “struggling artists.”
In fact, they created an anagram out of his name—“AVIDA DOLLARS” (below)
Here is a link to an excellent 2005 article on Salvador Dali- Avida Dollars by artist Mark Vallen, that lays out Dali’s history and relationship with Surrealism and his expulsion from the movement in 1939.
In closing, let me again communicate to J.R. my deepest gratitude for his loyalty and support and objective analysis that now spans: a decade of time, four books, over 800 photo exhibits, and the review of more than 2000 pages of ongoing investigation.