Image: Rick Genest and Matt Barnes: Sharp for Men, 2012
13/9/12 – Interview with Rick Genest by Jodie Michalak
I’ve been following Rico the Zombie for quite some time via Facebook and I have been fascinated with the artist’s tattoo’s. Jodie Michalak from About.Com has recently interviewed Rick Genest about his tattoo’s and his own perspectives of life and death. Michalak interprets Genest’s tattoo as a representation of death that has been presented the outside world. The artist’s own flesh has been described as a “canvas” that has been displayed in contemporary art, design, popular culture and digital media.
In the “Interview with Rico/ About.Com”, Michalak quotes “Having tattooed himself into a living corpse complete with flesh eating parasites, Zombie Boy quite frankly doesn’t seem to be afraid of death, or insects for that matter. But the world simply can’t be normal after one takes their skin and inks their living canvas to depict life after death.” (Michalak, 2012)
I’ve always believed that Genest’s tattoo’s provide a very unique perspective of death and the artist’s body becomes the foundation for representation and self expression. What I find really interesting is Michalak’s own interpretations of the artist’s tattoo’s that actually invite me to question whether Genest even has a connection or even an association with death?
Genest also explains his own practise and his perspectives of the tattoo industry. Genest believes that tattoo and body art is a form of creativity that isn’t different to any other medium or art form. I have noticed that Tattoo art has become very popular and high in demand over the past few years espcially through artists such as Angelique Houtkamp and Rick Genest.
I do have an appreciation for tattoo art even if I don’t even have tattoo’s myself. What fascinates me about Genest’s work is the artist’s ability to test different styles and mediums. Genest’s Facebook page is always updated with interviews, commercials and photo shoots that may exemplify the artist’s experiment with different areas. Michalak’s interview has been uploaded to Genest’s official website page and the article is definitely worth reading, especially if you are interested in tattoo art.
Genest has also released some new images of his most recent photo shoot with Matt Barnes for Sharp. The campaign has juxtaposed large, corporate brands such as Diesel and Chanel with Genest’s Tattoo’s that provides some very astounding effects. There isn’t a great deal of information about this particular photo shoot, although the perfume bottles are composed Genest’s tattoo’s.
One could argue that the images are advertising perfume for men through a very creative and innovative style. The very first time I had viewed these images I didn’t even notice the perfume bottles nor the actual brand until I read a short description on the website. Each image invites the viewer to take a closer look at Genest’s elaborate tattoo designs.
There are a couple of images that have been separated and reconstructed that is quote similar to photo montage. I’m not to sure how the book has displayed the images, although the layout on the actual website does remind me of the Starn Twins who also separate the original image into different segments in order to provide a completely different perspective (Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2012). The photographs on the website are only Please click on the URL below for more information about Genest’s recent campaign with Sharp for Men.
Zombie Boy, “Sharp Book for Men Photo Shoot”, Zombie Boy Official Website, http://www.rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=132:sharp-book-for-men-photo-shoot&Itemid=122 (Accessed 13/9/12)
Zombie Boy, “Interview with Rico | About.Com”, Zombie Boy Official Website, http://www.rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=131:interview-with-rico-|-aboutcom&Itemid=122 (Accessed 13/9/12)
Museum of Contemporary Photography, “Mike and Doug Starn”, Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2012, http://www.mocp.org/collections/permanent/starn_doug_and_mike.php (Accessed 13/9/12)