Haslam returns to Los Angeles with a new body of work exploring her fascination with Kigurumi and drawing on the Melbourne Kigurumi scene. In her paintings, Haslam showcases her delicate color palate of oil portraits consisting of young women in their mid to late teens dressing in Kigurumi street fashion. Originating as a Japanese subculture, Kigurumi participants fashion themselves to resemble stuffed toy animals. Their clothing are usually called "disguised pajamas" are made up of full bodied pajamas with hoods or hats styled after animals or cartoon characters and worn as everyday street wear, as opposed to "costumes".
Haslam's paintings express her interest in the nature of social role-playing, particularly in fashion. In these latest portraits, Halsam does not portray her figures as an individual, but as a stark representation and critique on social conformity. Here, her subject's clothing act as a youth rebellion and by allowing a literal escape from the overt sexualization of the female image.
Save the date: Kigurmi opens Friday, July 15th at LeBasse Projects Chinatown