Courtesy of rickgenest.com
Rick “Rico” Genest is a Canadian white male, average height and build, who would scare the hell out of anyone walking near him in a dark alley. Why? Because he tattooed his entire body to look like the living dead, earning him the nickname “Zombie Boy.”
Though he literally looks like he’s just risen from a grave, there’s something oddly comforting about Genest. It could be his overall “I don’t give a damn” attitude or because he doesn’t look like a human being anymore.
He’s claimed to have spent $16,000 on tattoos alone and works in sideshows in various circuses in Montreal.
“They’re about the human body as a decomposing corpse — the art of a rotting cadaver. It’s also a tribute to horror movies, which I love,” Genest said in an interview with Bizarre magazine.
My guess is Genest is simultaneously giving reason for his madness and mocking those who will look too deep for some higher meaning in his body modifications.
Some of the things he said in the interview can lead to questions about his mental stability, but take one look at him and you can see he doesn’t think like the average human being.
He said as a kid he wanted to grow up to be a zombie, so this was the closest he could get to becoming one without actually being dead. How’s that for ambition?
Genest is a self-described “punk” who used to live in the streets of Montreal before “Haus of Gaga” (the creative and design team for Lady Gaga) creative director Nicola Formichetti discovered him.
Genest’s popularity spiked in the last few months because he was picked by Formichetti to be a model in the latest Thierry Mugler (a fashion line for which Formichetti is also creative director) shows.
Genest was also in Lady Gaga’s latest video “Born This Way,” where he represented the “evil side” of humanity. Gaga’s makeup allowed her to look exactly like him.
While Genest’s unique body makes waves across the world, movies like “Beastly” are popping up, which is a modern-day twist on an old Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Instead of fur, though, the “beast” is covered in scars and tattoos, which are meant to make him look hideous to people.
A March 2 article in The Lantern had some of Ohio State’s wrestlers discussing the meaning behind their tattoos and why they got them. Some cited their families for inspiration; others said they thought that tattoos looked “tough.”
Genest said he wants to represent the decay of human society. Different strokes and all.