Denis Forkas Kostromitin was born in 1977 in the town of Kamyshin on the river Volga, Russia into a military officer’s family. The nature of his father’s profession implied extensive travelling to remote regions of the Soviet empire. Such nomadic existence stood in the way of receiving proper artistic education and Denis had to resort to self-study. What the wastelands lacked in creature comforts they made up for in epiphanies: long nights, extreme cold and isolation ensured numerous sensory deprivation experiences. The young artist’s attempts to capture narcoleptic visions through his draughtsman’s talent defined a pattern for all his future endeavours.
As the austere Soviet environment had little to offer in terms of esoteric literature Denis eagerly plunged into the world of Greek and Egyptian mythology and mysticism. Upon the iron curtain’s collapse in 1991 the great information deluge delivered translations of works by Levi and Crowley along with anonymous treatises on alchemy and ceremonial magic, which contained precious bits of insight into matters like energy management, will, balance and intent. The purgatory of Russian military service in the mid-nineties had Denis revise his approach to esotericism and brought him to the gates of Western philosophy.
In the wake of the new century’s economic boom Denis frequently visited China as a qualified interpreter, a journalist and a commercial representative. He was lucky to have met several native painting masters and was eventually granted a chance to study Eastern painting tradition first hand. Almost three years of heavy practice, which included mastering gongbi and xieyi techniques, helped Denis determine his true vocation and inspired him to take on the path of a professional artist. Before leaving China Forkas developed the principles of his Eglantine Breath philosophy. The approach – aimed at balancing the Apollonian and the Dionysian impulses and reviving the ancient spirit of harmony in a work of art – merged ceremonial magic, meditation and technical prowess in a single current.
Denis has been privately teaching painting and drawing since 2007. He has participated in various local and international exhibits. Forkas’s paintings and drawings have been featured in many international music releases as album covers. The artist currently lives and works in Moscow.
copyright © Waldemar Lachs, 2012
Denis Forkas discusses his work for Fulgur’s exhibition, I:MAGE, here