Rick Genest, or sometimes better known as ‘The Zombie Boy’, is a twenty-six-year-old from Canada who has challenged the typical ideas of beauty. He got his first tattoo at the age of sixteen and from there on has continued to cover his body with the artwork of Frank Lewis. After leaving school, Genest took to an underground life of ‘tattoos, piercings, music and DIY fashion.’ He was later given the nickname ‘Zombie boy’ by his new family of friends.
At the age of 19, the project for his body commenced with the help of artist Frank Lewis. Now, after six years of tattooing, eighty percent of Genest’s body is covered, having spent over $17,000. The project is not yet finished, Genest will continue until ‘his tapestry is finished.’
Rick Genest embodies the phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover. Whilst there is no doubt that many people find his tattoos repulsive or perhaps insulting, there are others that celebrate the work that Genest has achieved. He has committed himself to an idea that he believes in, which is perhaps something we could all take note of from time to time. His body expresses something completely different to the images we are presented with day to day. Moreover, he has generated this himself for himself, not part of a ploy to be different or ‘alternative’.
His artwork is intricate and has full illustrations of his skeleton, including his skull. He is literally a walking piece of art.
Genest had captured the attention and inspiration of multiple people, particularly in the fashion industry. He now models successfully, and recently appeared with Lady Gaga in the Mugler Women’s fashion show (March 2011). His success is astounding and it is brilliant that someone and something so different to usual conventions has been able to break the mould and express a new form of art so profusely.
Check out the video below!
find out more: http://www.rickgenest.com
Anna (Co-editor 2011/12)