William Cotton's painting Mortimer (plate 23), is more psychologically than viscerally disturbing. This painting is part of a group of works Cotton did based on things he found at flea markets. The artist's working title for Mortimer was Ugly Mouse, a description of the stuffed animal dominating the composition. With its missing eye, tattered für, and pants fallen down, the enlarged Mouse has a haunting presence. The final title refers to the figure in the lower left, Mortimer Snerd, the dummy made famous in the 1940s by the ventriloqist-comedian Edgar Bergen. An inanimate figure equipped with a human voice and gestures can be frightening or eerie. Adding an autobiographical note, the artist inserted the hoola hoop that appears at the lower right as a memory of a childhood nightmare.