In his highly energized self-portrait, Red Grooms gives us a tangible sense of something rarely depicted visually: the intellectual life of the artist. Grooms, one of a number of American artists at midcentury who helped to reestablish the figure as a subject for art, made his name with a zany, unorthodox take on representation. His paintings, prints, sculptures, and films mined a vein of comic mania hard to reconcile with cool pop art and minimalist trends. Grooms's crowd-pleasing whimsies caused one art historian to describe him as a "latter-day P. T. Barnum or Walt Disney, albeit crossed with Marcel Duchamp." Surrounding him are his visualized embodiments of people whose biographies he has recently read; Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, P. T. Barnum, and the nineteenth-century clown Dan Rice all haunt his memory.