Rick Genest & Savon Photography

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Photo Shoot featuring Rick Genest by Savon Photography

Throughout the majority of last year, I was particularly fascinated in Rick Genest, an American artist and performer who has covered his entire body in tattoos in portray his own interpretations of death / mortality.

In fact I have spent almost half a year following Genest’s Facebook Page that features recent campaigns, projects and photo shoots. It’s also interesting to track the artists popularity within contemporary art, fashion and design, the website in particular has now developed into an online store, that’s right Genest now sells his own merchandise!

So I am currently inspired by one photo shoot in particular that is displayed on Genest’s official website. Rick Genest has collaborated with Savon Photography in order to create a macabre, yet creative body of work. Unfortunately I was unable to find information in relation to Savon Photography, I was only able to find the photo shoot on Genest’s website.

To be specific the are two photographs that have captured my attention, as a matter of fact this is the most compelling photo shoot I have seen so far! The images features Genest laying face down on the ground with a white sheet and a sledge-hammer, the model appears to be covered in blood that creates an effective contrast with the snow within the foreground. There are red clumps surrounding the models head, it’s as if Genest decided to hit himself with a sledgehammer across the head, the image in general reminds me of something you would normally see in a horror film.

If you look closely at the image there are tyre marks on the ground, the model within the image may have been involved in a hit and run scenario? In fact this image in particular does create quite a lot of questions, there’s obviously a storyline but it’s quite difficult determine one specific meaning or representation, the image itself does invite the viewer to create their own interpretation in a way.

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Another photo shoot by Savon Photography

The angle and the composition are very interesting, I actually decided to rotate the image on each side that did create a completely different response or reaction. Genest is cropped at the waistline and this particular pose can be viewed at any angle which is another very interesting observation. The tattoo’s on Genest’s back become the main focal point within the entire image that also compliment the bright, red blood splatters on the ground. The way Genest’s arms are positioned also creates a unique composition, the position reminds me of a fallen angel, I know it’s quite a strange interpretation really.

The image does evoke a sense of isolation and disembodiment, it’s as if the model is left to die on a deserted highway. While the subject matter is rather gruesome and macabre, the photograph itself features a stylised effect that is almost whimsical in a way. So what I find interesting is the fact that Genest’s tattoo’s depict death, although Genest is also portraying a death like position, the actual meaning features a double layer!

Ok so there is another photograph that features a completely different perspective, this photo in particular does emphasise the face along with a bright, red substance opposite Genest’s head. It’s as if Genest’s brains have oozed from his head onto the ground, in fact the liquidy red substance significantly contrasts with the monochromatic tones within the overall image. I have also noticed the word ‘Dead’ is tattooed to Genest’s fingers that also becomes one of the main focal points, this one tattoo in particular does correspond with Genest’s motionless form. To be honest, I don’t have any emotional connection to the image, I’m just fascinated with the style and the composition!

I don’t find these images disturbing or unsettling, as a matter of fact I find this particular photo shoot creative and inspiring! The photograph does provide a unique and artistic representation of death, the photo shoot also questions the way death is portrayed within the contemporary visual culture. Do we accept the idea of death? Well death can be a sensitive subject for some, although it’s sometimes difficult to feel a strong connection to death when your completely surrounded by ghastly horror films and skull printed merchandise.

I would definitely recommend visiting Genest’s website and I would also recommend viewing Genest’s online gallery! The online portfolio also displays a range of photographs featuring Rick Genest, if you have the chance I would strongly suggest browsing through some of the images online especially if you are looking for ideas or inspiration.

http://rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=9&Itemid=1

http://rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=26:savon&Itemid=115


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