You might recognize Rick Genest better known as Zombie Boy (or Rico the Zombie) from the Lady Gaga Born This Way video. Or maybe you’ve seen his fashion modeling work (he’s the face of Jay Z‘s clothing line Rocawear in Europe- and the face of Dermablend Professional).
He also DJ’s, is the front man for a punk band, a side show freak, and acts in music videos as well as alongside Keanu Reeves as “Savage” in 47Ronin due out in December 2013.
Any way you slice it, if you’ve seen him, you can’t forget him (at least your subconscious can’t). In a world of short attention spans, and first impressions, there is no mistaking this tattooed artist in a crowd. He is in NYC for fashion week, modeling tonight with Eyewear Designer Stevie Boi for the fashion-show “Leather” to be held at The Out Hotel 510 W 42nd Street at 7pm.
One day before his band’s big NYC debut I got a chance to ask him the requisite 10 questions to try to find out why corpse is the new black.
Artiholics: “What was your first tattoo?”
ZOMBIE BOY: “The Jolly Roger on my shoulder. The Jolly Roger is an old school symbol that represented anarchy. ”
Artiholics: “Have you ever just bought flash off the wall?”
ZOMBIE BOY: “Yes, a cupcake on my ass.”
ZOMBIE BOY: “My grandmother.”
ZOMBIE BOY: “No, because all my ink is black and white and goes with everything. Except for the time I had to wear the red dress. It wasn’t the designers fault though… Or mine. ”
ZOMBIE BOY: “I feel the clothes I model complement my tattoos and vice versa.”
Artiholics: “How did you get involved with Gaga?”
ZOMBIE BOY: “I was modeling for Nicola Formichetti the designer of Muglar who is Gaga’s designer and we had previously worked together in fashion.”
ZOMBIE BOY: “Airport security or a bus driver? lt’s hard to narrow it down. I once held a door for a little old lady and she went all the way to the other set of doors to avoid me. ”
ZOMBIE BOY: “ I did some pretty bad ass finger paintings when I was a kid. And some wicked Lego creations.”
ZOMBIE BOY: “Facade? (laughs) I’m a living piece of something. Or am I?”
ZOMBIE BOY: ” My band, Zombie Boy vs. the World is the main focus of my facade but I’m also working on getting my laundry done.”
Interview by Cojo “Art Juggernaut”
New York, NY (August 29, 2013): Coming off a wild, world whirlwind of creative projects that have led him from the runways of Haute Couture, High Glossy Fashion Editorials, Music Videos, Mobile Apps, Hollywood Movies to sold out DJ Shows across Europe with KAV; Rick Genest, better known as Zombie Boy (or Rico The Zombie) has discovered a creative outlet of expression that he couldn't contain.
Following several months of recording in Los Angeles with producer & co-collaborator British Artist KAV, Zombie Boy is announcing the launch of his self-titled Music Project, which he will launch during New York Fashion Week. His first show will be at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room, sponsored by Dermablend Professional.
Monday, Sept 9th, 2013: Zombie Boy will be teaming up with Eyewear Designer Stevie Boi for the fashion-show "Leather" to be held at The Out Hotel 510 W 42nd Street 7pm.
Followed by an After Party hosted by Dermablend Professional, that you surely won’t want to miss. Especially, since the underground fashion & music scene is already a buzz. Zombie Boy will be performing LIVE for the FIRST time ever & debuting his material from his upcoming EP due out November 2013 - ‘Zombie Boy Vs The World’ - at Webster Hall's Marlin Room - Doors 10pm - Stage time Midnight. RSVP is required for both events.
Zombie Boy’s music has been described as “Sex Pistols meets Iggy & The Stooges”, which has been developed & produced with precision, dedication by KAV. KAV is known for working with British legend Shaun Ryder, who he helped reform; co-write & tour with the ‘Happy Mondays’ from 2004-2007. He has continuously produced & released numerous singles in the UK & America. Zombie Boy & KAV worked in close collaboration with LA producer & Musician Josh Ostrander.
Zombie Boy is one of the more popular 'unique' international male fashion personalities. Currently the face ofDermablend Professional, he is best known for collaborating with Lady Gaga on her ‘Born This Way’ music video & working closely with maverick creative fashion director Nicola Formichetti whilst with Mugler. He is currently the face of Jay Z’s clothing Line Rocawear in Europe. Over the past few years he has built up an impressive following worldwide. He has a major cameo appearance as ‘Savage’ in Universal Studio’s upcoming movie ‘47Ronin’ starring Keanu Reeves and Directed by Carl Reinch, scheduled for release Christmas Day 2013.
Rico continues to be the face of Dermablend Professional, the #1 Dermatologist recommended camouflage brand in the United States. Their first campaign http://gobeyondthecover.com/beyond-the-cover.aspx) “Go Beyond the Cover” in October 2011 garnered over 22 Million views & won 6 prestigious awards, including a Cannes Lions Viral Advertising and Marketing Award. Now the duo are back at it, as Dermablend just launched their new campaign, ‘Uncover Zombie Boy’ a 3-D interactive clone of Zombie Boy where users can delve deep into the rich story that Zombie Boy and Dermablend have created.
The rest of the year will be just as wild for Zombie Boy as he slated to headline a few more fashion shows & other events but most of all, He is really excited & proud to bring his passion of punk & rock and roll inspired sound to the masses.
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?