Zombie Boy rises again!
L'Oréal's Dermablend cosmetics brand got 13 million YouTube views for its 2011 "Go Beyond the Cover" video starring the über-tattooed Rick Genest. So, it's no surprise they've reunited, this time for an iOS app that tells the story behind the Canadian artist and model's body illustrations while touting Dermablend products.
3-D technology lets users "Uncover Zombie Boy" by clicking on his tattoos. (You can demo the app on the web here.) For example, Genest informs us that he holds world records for the 178 bugs and 138 bones emblazoned on his skin, and that getting his hands done at age 19 was a "point of no return" because "you can't really get a job at a coffee shop anymore." The app lets you turn Genest's corpse-like image this way and that, and zoom in and out, but I was kind of hoping it would give me complete control of him, so I could make him my zombie slave to do my evil bidding. Maybe next time.
Oh, you can also overlay the deep, dark eyeholes and exposed teeth and gums of his skull tattoo on a photo of your own face to see what you'd look like if you, too, never wanted to get a job at a coffee shop again. When I tried it, I basically looked the same. Too many late nights reviewing ads and apps, I guess.
Now, on one level, "Uncover Zombie Boy" provides a fascinating interactive portrait of Genest's outer and inner self. But of course, this isn't a purely creative endeavor. It exists to sell Dermablend's concealing makeup, which was famously used in the viral hit video two years ago to cover up Genest's tattoos and make it look like his skin had never know the sting of the needle. In the new app, large letter D's that appear beside his image yield information about the Dermablend products that correspond to his various body parts.
Some have pointed out the incongruity of a fierce nonconformist like Genest, who, needless to say, really stands out in a crowd, shilling for an outfit that brags about being "the No. 1 dermatologist recommended camouflage brand." Still, the guy's gotta make a living. If he's satisfied that he hasn't "sold out," who are we to draw conclusions?
"In 2011, Zombie Boy Shocked Everyone when he revealed his tattoos that were flawlessly covered with Dermablend Products. He's back to reveal even more."
From Zombie Boy to living icon, Rick Genest isn’t just Nicola Formichetti’s muse anymore.
Artist, model, and living piece of art, Genest, aka Zombie Boy, has made it. First discovered by Nicola Formichetti of Thierry Mugler, he instantly became Formichetti’s muse. Their relationship as mentor and muse quickly metastasized into a modeling career for the artist. Zombie Boy was featured in the unforgettable Mugler’s Men’s & Women’s RTW 2011 runways’ and Men’s Fall 2011 campaign. Zombie Boy was quickly propelled into the mainstream with his infamous tattooed body making an equally unforgettably cameo in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video.
If it’s possible to imagine, Zombie Boy has expanded his career from beyond being just a male runway model. He was featured in a promotional video for Dermabrand Professional makeup entitled, “Go Beyond the Cover”, in which they completely cover his body with makeup, effectively making him tattoo-less. The video almost instantaneously went viral. Zombie Boy became the first ever male spokesperson for L’Oreal based on the success of that campaign.
TWELV received exclusive images of a project Zombie Boy did with famed eyewear designer and model Stevieboi. Shot by Colin Singer and styled by Bobby Webster, “Freaks Bring Fashion to Venice Beach” shows Zombie Boy and Stevieboi in the edgy punk LA brand Skingraft, a brand favorite of TWELV. The images are reminiscent of the traveling freak show, of which Formichetti first discovered Zombie Boy.
So what is Zombie Boy up to next? Other than granting exclusive images to TWELV, he’s currently the face of Rocawear Europe, and expanding his skeletal brand into acting. You’ll recognize his now iconic face this Christmas alongside Keanu Reeves in 47Ronin.
It might seem impossible to keep tabs on this quickly expanding brand, but Zombie Boy has got you covered. He recently launched his own website, zombieboy.com, where you can catch up on what his up to, but most importantly, shop his exclusive Zombie Boy approved fan gear and sportswear accessories.
By Rachel Arseneault
Photographs by Colin Singer