photos

Bisttram’s Caricature Self-Portrait for the Artists’ Costume Ball, Taos, c. 1940, photo, 3 x 2 inches, William Warder papers.

The Taos Art Association sponsored an Artists’ Costume Ball which in 1939 and 1940 included caricature self-portraits by the artists. The photo at the left is undoubtedly one of Bisttram’s contributions. This self-portrait shows Bisttram praying with a halo around his head, dressed in monk’s clothing, smoking a cigar, wearing a watch, and sporting horns, a tail, and humongous animal feet. Additionally, a female nude is perched on the tip of the tail. This dual representation reveals Bisttram’s humorous side, his often biting sarcasm, and his enjoyment of practical jokes.