LOS ANGELES, CA — A Los Angeles artist has struck a nerve with his latest creation: the "Karen" Halloween mask. Jason Adcock, an artist and hobbyist latex mask-maker, stumbled into recent viral fame over a mask depicting the screwed face and wild hair of a so-called Karen in full rage mode.
Adcock's sculpture captures the essence of a "Karen," a recently spawned nickname to describe a middle-aged, enraged short-haired white woman who "wants to see your manager" but wants to get her way, no matter the consequences.
He sculpted the woman, created an assembly line of molds and creates each mask out of latex. Adcock hand-paints each one and lays on the hair, eyelashes and details. No mask is identical, and each is a horrifying work of art, though each Karen will always have the trademark short blonde bob.
In 2020, "It's the scariest thing you can be on Halloween," Adcock tells Patch.
"I've always been creative and wanted to make monsters my whole life," he said in interview.
Originally from Turlock, California, Adcock has lived in Los Angeles for about six years. He's self-taught in the art of mask-making, has read books on molds and sculpting, and is active in social communities for makeup artists. A super-fan of Disney, he has learned from the Disney artists' keen detail. Adcock has honed his makeup skills and latex creations over the past 10 years, but Karen is his biggest hit by far.
When influencers began begging for masks to wear, he knew he'd stumbled into something viral.
Why is Karen the most startling Halloween mask of 2020? Social media have "outed" many Karens since the global coronavirus pandemic began: Karens demanding to go into stores without wearing their face masks, others calling in false police reports, or some challenging delivery drivers as to whether they should be entering buildings.
Adcock has seen his share of the news stories. As an esthetician, he tells Patch he's also seen his share of Karens in action, firsthand, at his beauty supply store.
When businesses were shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was "hard hit, financially," he says.
Then, people began asking for the masks he showcased over Instagram.
"I've been home for about six months," he tells Patch. "I was just going stir crazy, so this is keeping me pretty busy."
He began selling them two weeks ago and is currently at work on about 60 orders, in an assembly-line fashion.
"Each one takes a bit of time. I'll be cutting off orders soon" to make the Halloween delivery date, he said — and to ensure that they stay unique.
To handle orders from across the country, he opened an Etsy online store. Though he is hampered by the limited time between now and Oct. 31, selling the Karen masks helps his survival. He expects to earn enough to get out of debt.
"People want something for Halloween that is limited and not what everyone else is wearing," he says.
Each Karen mask retails on Etsy at $180. And they are selling quickly.
This appears to be the first time the Karen meme has been personified in sculpture.
View this post on InstagramKamorascostumes- on Etsy ! It’s never to early to shop for #Halloween #costumes . 2020 is the year of the KAREN! Scare all ur friends with ur big hair and narrow mind . Full head latex mask painted with #timgoresbloodline and @createxcolors #latexmask#rubbermask#halloweenmask#sculpting#art#scary #biggair#monster#monstermask#bridezilla#karen#karensgonwild#karensgonewild #karens#
A post shared by Jason Adcock (@jasonadcock78) on Aug 7, 2020 at 12:10pm PDT
Still, Adcock tells Patch that not everyone loves the masks. He's gotten his share of commenters saying the masks are "racist" and that he should take them down. But these aren't going anywhere, he says, adding: "If if art doesn't ruffle some feathers, you're not doing art right."