Iasmina Panduru aka P.Ias is a fashion photographer, filmmaker and illustrator. She is currently studying her MA in Fashion Photography at UAL/LCF and is now working on a photography project that involves models covered in tattoos in a context of very detailed background patterns to create a contrast between body art and textiles. More about this project she explains below.
“Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy was a huge body modification fan and had over 90% of his body covered in tattoos that made him look like a human zombie skeleton. He was an actor and fashion model, best known for working with big names like Thierry Mugler and Lady Gaga. He was a famous figure and an amazing character, but despite all his success he decided to take his life on the 1st of august 2018. The reasons are still uncertain while many believe that the cause of his death was accidental, but I personally think that society’s closed minds played a big role in this story. Misconception, misunderstanding and misplacing could lead to strong trauma for anyone. While looking at a bigger picture we should consider the fact that, at the end of the day, Zombie Boy was a human being capable of feeling loneliness, emptiness and despair, like any of us. Apart from that, he would have to face on a daily basis, people that didn’t have enough education to understand what his tattoos stand for. He was probably considered an outlaw and treated like an outcast by narrow-minded people that still believe tattoos only belong with convicts, gangs and mafia members. Rick might have been viewed as an iconic fashion symbol and a high quality piece in the art world, but the mediocre society will forever hate what they don’t understand. “
“I focused on Rico’s body modification story by deeply researching tattoos and their meanings and the best tools I found so far were the Russian Criminal Tattoos Encyclopedias but the most effective one for me was Russian Criminal Tattoos and Playing Cards. This book not only explains the meaning behind prison tattoos and why criminals had them done, but also talks openly about the dangers of gambling, how they produced playing cards at that time and the tools they used in order to obtain certain results. Inspired by the various pattern mixtures inked on the back of playing card decks and the multitude of meanings behind criminal tattoos, I gave birth to a project that approaches a sensitive theme and has potential to spread awareness. My idea was to shoot several models covered in tattoos, individually or collectively, males or females, with colorful and patterned textiles in the background. The contrast created between the tattooed body as a human canvas and the strongly decorated materials behind it, is a metaphor to mirrors and windows. The mirror creates reflection between the model and the backgrounds, their tattoos and the textile patterns while the window helps the viewer understand the need for going outside of the box for self discovery and pushing one’s own limits.”
This series is part of the London College of Fashion
Text and images copyrights: P_ias