Rick Genest featured in WestEast Magazine

8/11/12 – Genest’s recent Photograph

So the other day while I was writing my essay, I decided to quickly log into Facebook for 5 – 1o minutes and I discovered this photograph of Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy. I have been following Rick Genest for a while, the way he has tattooed his entire body is simply amazing! The tattoo’s reflect a rotting or disintegrating corpse and Genest has tattooed the skull to the very front of his face.

Anyway the artist has featured in WestEast Magazine and the photograph features the artist wearing gloves and metal studs. In the photograph, Genest is lying vertically with his arms crossed against his chest; in a way he reminds me of the skull and crossbones. The photograph features a unique composition between light, tone and shadow; these three components highlight the Genest’s tattoo designs, the black, leather jacket as well as the metal studs. Towards the very bottom of the photograph, Genest’s eye’s appear completely blank; this particular element provides the artist with a dark, sinister appearance. The use of tone and shadow also highlights the Genest’s jaw line that recedes behind the artist’s leather jacket.

In a way, Genest’s rigid and motionless posture features a very deathly appearance, although the studded jacket may refer to the punk subculture. Genest’s face also features a very close resemblance to the human skull through the tone and composition; the strong use of line also define the artist’s jaw line in a way that appears similar to a human skull. This is Genest’s strongest photograph so far, the angle and the composition definitely captures the viewer’s attention, the use of black and white does make the artist appear similar to a decomposing corpse that is about to be buried into the ground.

From this particular photograph, I began to question, is the skull becoming popular in the fashion industry? I would say, yes! the skull is popular than ever before, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without recognising someone wearing a skull t-shirt. Genest has become one of the most iconic / influential artist’s in the fashion industry that also questions whether the contemporary visual culture will always have a fascination with the human skull? While this is quite a challenging question to answer, everyone has their own interpretations of death, while some may see it as just another commodity, others may see it as society’s attempt to remove the skull from its original context or association with death.

For more information check out Genest’s website! there is also a recent interview with Zombie boy by WestEast Magazine. If you have the time or you need a break from your everyday chores, have a read through this article, the artist has definitely raised some very interest points.



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