Do you know how painful it is when you get a tattoo? I know and I can tell you…one tattoo is definitely enough.^^
Therefore I was pretty….shocked is a too strong word but certainly astonished how someone could be willing to go through such enormous pain. Well the 26-years old Canadian, Rico Genest did. He got tattoos all over his body and all with one goal, to look like a zombie. And perfectly fitting to our seminar, he created his own travelling freak show titled Lucifer’s Blasphemous Mad Macabre Torture Carnival.
In an interview it gets quite clear what his intention was/is:
What look are you trying to achieve with your tattoos?
They’re about the human body as a decomposing corpse – the art of a rotting cadaver. It’s also a tribute to horror movies, which I love
Anyway, the closest thing I could get to becoming a zombie was to get tattooed like one. I see my tattoos as celebrating the art of obscenity and the macabre.
He also says that since he got his tattoos he is a much happier and nicer person.
(If you are interested to learn more about his motivation to become the zombie boy I strongly recommend his own homepage. The link you find below…)
Watch the video and be amazed:
I think the quote at the beginning of the video pretty much sums up what the problem in today’s society is: “ How do you judge a book” ….well not by his cover. Instead of judging him by his appearance we should look closer. His tattoos can be seen as an artistic masterpiece with a complexity most people don’t have. In the video the make-up stands for what people consider as normal, but what lies beneath is beautiful too. What Rico Genest did is crossing the boundaries what is considered as “socially beautiful”.
Now the big question emerges “ Will he ever be accepted in society when he looks like a ‘monster’ for the rest of his life?” The big problem in our today’s society is the still existing idea that people with tattoos and piercings are automatically less acceptable than others. It is the common thought that they will never get a proper job or will be treated as a serious person. This is at least the idea of extreme tattoo and piercing opponents. But I think we need to distinguish between extreme cases like the zombie boy and people who just like to have one or two tattoos.
Now everyone can ask oneself if the zombie boy is one of these extremes and therefore considered as a freak or not.
To be honest I can’t really decide. One the one hand I find him a real artistic approach but one the other hand he makes the impression of a freaky person. For example, he wants to get his eyes blackend (as soon as it is safe) that means he wants to tattoo his eyes so they will appear as black holes, just like a skull looks like. He also would like to remove the tip of his nose, or the whole nose only the reach his goal of looking like a zombie with a skull.