Rick Genest (born August 7, 1985) is a Canadian artist and fashion model born in Montreal. He is also known as Zombie Boy for being tattooed like a corpse across the majority of his body.
Genest grew up in Châteauguay, a suburb of Montreal. As a child, Rick developed a brain tumor which was surgically removed when he was 15 years old.According to his mother he waited, out of respect for her and his father, until the age of 16 to get his first tattoo.He then left home at 17 after graduating from high school, but it was not until the age of 21 that he would first come to Montreal tattoo artist Frank Lewis, since then responsible for inking the majority of the designs on his body, which they create together.This has taken over six years, Genest spending thousands of dollars on the artwork, conceived by him to be “about the human body as a decomposing corpse – the art of a rotting cadaver.”, and “also a tribute to horror movies”, a favourite genre of his.
RISE TO FAME.
He played a background role in Cirque du freak: the Vampires assistant as one of the freaks in 2009.
On March 5, 2010, a Facebook fan page was created about Genest’s unusual choice of tattoos. This page reached 1,526,292 members (as of November 19, 2011) and ultimately led to his discovery by Lady Gaga’s Fashion Director Nicola Formichetti.
On January 19, 2011, Rick was featured in the new MUGLER Autumn/Winter mens collection, headlining the collection on the brand’s website, after his discovery by Creative Director Nicola Formichetti.It was Genest’s discovery by Formichetti and then Gaga’s urging which actually resulted in the menswear show, something not originally planned.His discovery also influenced Formichetti on the collection itself.The show was accompanied by a video featuring Genest shot by fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco.He later featured alongside Lady Gaga in the fashion show for the women’s 2011 Autumn/Winter line.
On February 27, 2011, Genest was featured in Lady Gaga’s video for “Born This Way”, with Lady Gaga wearing makeup to replicate Genest’s tattoos.
Genest can be seen styled in MUGLER by Formichetti and shot by Mariano Vivanco in the sixth volume of Vogue Hommes Japan, the editorial being titled “Hard To Be Passive”.In the Spring/Summer issue of GQ Style (UK), Formichetti and he are interviewed, with Genest shot in MUGLER by Karim Sadli for the editorial.
In late 2011, Genest became part of a campaign entitled “Go Beyond the Cover”, promoting Dermablend professional makeup products, appearing in a video where a makeup team covered all the tattoos on his head, torso, arms, and part of his back in its concealer product. The advert then shows him sitting with the phrase “How do you judge a book?”. He then proceeds to remove portions of the makeup, starting with a section of his chest to reveal the tattoo underneath, continuing to his face. The video then shows the process of applying the cover up played backwards.
Genest also played in a music video of the Polish pop singer Honey. The video for her the song “Sabotage” was published on 19 Jan 2012.