James "Son" Thomas's self-portrait is another example of the representation of actual people in the artist's oeuvre. In this work, Thomas employs the "gumbo" clay head/bust format developed from years of producing his frequent subject: the human skull. Although Thomas's skulls are eerily powerful and impersonal, they were actually created by sculpting full portrait heads and carving them down. His self-portrait is as sensitive and individualized as his other likenesses. The upraised eyebrow and distinct facial lines of this piece are unquestionably those of the artist.