thought would disgust
other people, using
his body to express his
anger and social alienation.
But instead of pushing
others away, his tattoos
drew them to him."
~sociologists Lisa Wade and Gwen Sharp
Montreal native Rick Genest (above) gets inked for the 1st time at the age of 16, and eventually - over 3 years and at a cost of several thousand dollars - has 80% of his body tattooed by Frank Lewis to resemble a cadaver.
Taking the stage name "Zombie Boy," Genest (click here for extensive slideshow of color portraits be professional photographer Neville Elder) performs for sideshows - including the one he established, Lucifer's Blasphemous Mad Macabre Torture Carnival - as a geek, a blockhead, and a fire-eater.
Someone creates a Facebook page featuring Genest called "I bet this guy will regret getting this tattoo once he's older!" The Facebook page is seen by Nicola Formichetti, who is both a creative director for fashion designer Thierry Mugler and personal stylist to Lady Gaga. She hires Genest to debut the Autumn/Winter men's collection in Paris. Lady Gaga, who debuted her song "Born This Way" on the same Mugler runway, taps Genest to appear in the video. Genest is then hired to appear on the small and big screens, including a cameo in "47 Ronin," a forthcoming Keanu Reeves film. Offered more work in fashion, Genest explains, "To set the record straight, it was never my intention to become a model."
Genest would like to have the whites of his eyes tattooed, his teeth filed into points, his tongue split. and his ears removed.
Thanks to my brother-in-law Nicholas for bringing this to my attention.