September 9, 2019
Los Angeles, California
“It is Midnight Dr. _____. ” (Oil on canvas) by William Copley (1961)
Reproduced from the Mark Nelson/Sarah Bayliss book, Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder.
On page 145, regarding the Copley painting, the authors write:
“Copley was living in France and in frequent contact with Man Ray and Duchamp when he created this work. The painting shows a doctor surrounded by a scalpel, saws, and other tools. A reclining nude fills in the lower part of the canvas.”
This morning I received the below “comment” related to a 2015 posting It was from a Mr. John Scott in Australia. It reads:
12×15 backward = 5121
My response to John Scott:
John Scott’s comment is linked to his reading of an earlier 2015 blog (Black Dahlia Avenger/Zodiac: Unexpected Help from Home and Abroad- Announcing the 2015 Inspector Clouseau Award Honorees) in which I referenced a book, Alphabet For Adults, published jointly by Man Ray and his good friend, William Copley in Hollywood in 1948.
As demonstrated in the below graphic, in their book Man Ray and Copley include the then Sowden House residence, 5121 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, California as represented by the letter “Q” for Quarrel. (A Man and Woman (His wife Dorothy? His girlfriend Elizabeth Short?) arguing in the courtyard of our former home.
Click on the graphic below to read complete blog.
My sincere thanks to John Scott for his truly amazing observation. He like so many other readers/researchers through the years has contributed what appears to be a fascinating new and important link to the many riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas.
Update/Afterthought- 9.9.19 7:30 pm
In my six books, I have referenced numerous hidden messages by the surealists, specifically relating to their knowledge (William Copley, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray) that their friend/acquaintance, Dr. George Hill Hodel was the Black Dahlia Avenger.
Too many examples to note here, but are we aware of any example of the surrealists actually writing a “backward message” in their art?
Yes! I included the fairly recent discovery in my earlier works and the artist was none other than MAN RAY, William Copley’s closest friend and co-author of Alphabet For Adults (1948).
The below abstract artwork was created by Man Ray circa 1935 and is entitled “Space Writings.”
For seventy-four years the fact that he had concealed his signature in the artwork by writing it BACKWARDS and concealing it in the swirls, he had managed to keep it secret from the world. His own private joke.
It was discovered by photographer, Ellen Carey in 2009. I quote from the Smithsonian article by Abby Callard:
“But now Ellen Carey, a photographer whose working method is similar to Man Ray’s, has discovered something that has been hidden in plain sight in Space Writings for the past 74 years: the artist’s signature, signed with the penlight amid the swirls and loops.”
Click on below photo for the full article in Smithsonian
(Above photo is mirrored image of original which shows Man Ray signature)
For those interested in further linkage see John Dorfman’s related article “Secret Formulas” HERE. (John Dorfman is the Senior Editor of Art & Antiques Magazine.)