Rico the Zombie inspires Facebook users worldwide

12/7/12 – Has Rico the Zombie become the new internet sensation?

Facebook is becoming a very effective internet source for the research project. I continue to log onto Facebook and my page is constantly updated with artists and designers who explore the iconic imagery of the skull.

Rick Genest aka Rico the Zombie is a public figure on Facebook who is regularly updating his page with images or photographs from recent projects or commissions. Genest’s Facebook page is quite inspiring and the recent updates are always creative and innovative.

Has Facebook become an effective resource for artists and designers to display their work online? The internet has become a very efficient source, which allows anybody to display their work to a large audience, locally and internationally.From examining Genest’s public Facebook page, it’s also inspiring to see an artist / performer post on a weekly basis, which also motivates me to create works of my own.

For those who are unfamiliar with Genest, the performer has accumulate a large following from all over the world and his tattoos emulate a body that is slowly deteriorating. One could argue that Genest uses his own body as a form of creative expression, which symbolises the artists encounters with death.  For more information, please click on the link below, which will link directly to Genest’s official website.

According to the Artist’s website, Genest has also worked for large corporations such as Mugler and Dermablend, which have exemplified the artist’s tattoo’s through product design or advertising, which has inspired consumers worldwide. One could argue that Genest has transformed his body into a work of art, which has inspired different styles or trends within the consumer culture.

Millions of internet users world-wide have commented on Genest’s images and photographs online, which proves that the artist has become an internet sensation with the 21st century culture.

So, What makes Genest so popular and why is there an interest for Genest’s tattoos? Perhaps the consumer is generally interested in Genest’s appropriation of death or his reference to the skull.Popular culture is constantly saturated with the image of death and the human skull, although would this explain the reason why Genest has become extremely popular?

From a personal perspective, Genest’s reference to death has generated a large response from the public, although one could argue that Genest’s provides a creative representation of death through the use of his own body. The living body has become the canvas and a form of artistic expression, which is used to convey personal interpretations of death. Are Genest’s tattoo’s and performances a form of art or creative expression?

The way Genest displays his illustrations is also creative and the artist is always exploring different styles and representations. The black and white image is quite sensational and the flowers do provide a different perspective to Genest’s tattoos.

In the very top image, Genest appears bohemian or Indie, through the floral head dress, which contrasts with the artists skeletal illustrations. The black and white also highlights Genest’s facial features or characteristics, which are enhanced through the direction of the light. The skull on Genest’s forearm instantly captures the viewer’s gaze , although one may begin to create connections between the tattoos and the head-dress.

The photo shoot does remind me of the Mexican sugar skulls, especially the flowers and the extravagant head-dress. Perhaps the images provides a dark apprehension of the Mexican skulls through the use of colour, shade and contrast.

Genest will never fail to inspire the modern population and the tattoo’s invites one to reconsider Western appropriations of death or the skull within the contemporary culture. Have Genest’s tattoos become a cultural phenomenon and will the artist continue to inspire artists or designers in years to come? Only time will decide.

Image from Rick Genest’s Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/RicoTheZombie?ref=ts

Boy, Zombie. “Rico the Zombie Offical Website.” Rick Genest, http://rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=113.


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