Art dealer Bella Fishko founded the Forum Gallery in New York City in 1961, which she managed until 1988 when she retired, succeeded by her son. The gallery, long a mainstay of the art world, was known for its representation of leading figurative artists even during an era when portraiture and figuration was considered by some critics to be out of fashion for progressive artists. Fishko gave Gregory Gillespie, the artist of this image, his first solo exhibition at the Forum Gallery. Gillespie surrounds the slightly frightening likeness with his own diminutive portrait and some of his own paintings. As one critic noted, Gillespie "is not simply a Surrealist, a Hyperrealist, or a Photorealist; rather, he is himself an assemblage, taking elements from everywhere and transforming them in his deeply personal way."