Gabor-based face representation has achieved enormous success in face recognition. However, one drawback of Gabor-based face representation is the huge amount of data that must be stored. Due to the nonlinear structure of the data obtained from Gabor response, classical linear projection methods like principal component analysis fail to learn the distribution of the data. A nonlinear projection method based on a set of self-organizing maps is employed to capture this nonlinearity and to represent face in a new reduced feature space. The Multiple Self-Organized Gabor Features (MSOGF) algorithm is used to represent the input image using all winner indices from each SOM map. A new local matching algorithm based on the similarity between local features is also proposed to classify unlabeled data. Experimental results on FERET database prove that the proposed method is robust to expression variations.