Watercolour painting by Marilyn Manson

painting of Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short as Snow White (A smile I)

2002.
30 x 22 inches or 76 x 56 cm

Elizabeth Short, alias the Black Dahlia, travelled to Hollywood in search of fame but became a victim of murder. Her nude body was found cut in half in a vacant lot in Leimert Park on January 15, 1947, the blood drained from it before it was left there. Los Angeles mystery writer James Ellroy immortalized the case in an acclaimed 1987 novel. You can search the web for more of the gruesome details.

Short got her name from a combination of being seen dressed all in black at local nightspots, and because of a popular film of the time called "The Blue Dahlia". Marilyn painted two full-length views of her body which I've not shown here because they trouble me. Maybe later. You can see them in the overview or poster pictures.

Manson: "This is my favorite part of the show. This is the famous story of Black Dahlia, who was found cut in half. The crime was never solved in the '40s. I've been obsessed with it since I was very young. [(A smile I)] is how she came to Hollywood, with hopes of becoming famous."

He refered to these particular paintings in a Journal entry for 4th July 2002:

"I also started a series of life-size paintings of Elizabeth Short's bizarre death. It has haunted me all my life."

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