My name is Karina Kulyck. I have been working under the pseudonym Fosco Culto and now live in Lviv, in Western Ukraine. I graduated from the Lviv Academy of Arts, studied at the Faculty of restoration. By profession I am not working. I work with oil paints on canvas, but also like to paint on wood in iconic style, using true or fake gold and silver. I prefer the style of symbolism and occult themes. I took part in the youth exhibitions in Ukraine and in several exhibitions in Italy. In addition to painting, I compose music, write lyrics and sing, play the keyboard.
“MY PAINTINGS ARE MAGIC ARTIFACTS AND GATES TO OTHER WORLD. MANY OF THEM ARE IN COLLECTIONS OF MODERN MAGICIANS AND OCCULTISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. I `M INSPIRED BY DEMONS, DARK GODS , NIGHT, MOON AND BLACK MAGIC.” FOSCO CULTO
DISINFO: Why do you think there is a revival in interest in all thing occult and esoteric in the arts?
I did not notice the increased interest in occult painting. In my real environment, the occult is not popular and condemned. Although dexterous people everywhere make buisness by doing magic and tarotting online. I constantly face misunderstanding and devaluation. At acquaintance with me some people have a desire to accuse me of wrong to baptize. Of course, now the world has a lot of art for every taste. If you do not look specifically for something demonic and dark, you might get the impression that such creativity does not exists, since the market is oversaturated.
DISINFO: Do your position yourself as a shamanic presence within the culture? Are the art objects you make functional as healing devices?
Of course, as a creator, I am a shaman who travels through different worlds and transcends what she sees and feels with the help of a brush. Some of my works were created especially for sorcerous altars and temples, some are not so specific, but nevertheless, they always carry in themselves something witchy, occult meaning.
DISINFO: Do you have any concern about being persecuted because of your subject matter and materials, particularly in a socio political environment whereby evangelicals and puritans seem to have such enormous influence?
Yes, always. Of course, until the trial did not reach, but in the family I was always told that this is a dead-end way and it will bring me only solitude. Some paintings have been destroyed recently. When I rented the workshop room, I had to hide my paintings from the owners, or the acquaintances who provided me the room, constantly asked them to hide, because they were afraid that because of me they would be fired from their jobs. It was once that I was taken away from the premises, because they did not want me to paint there. My relatives refused to keep paintings at home and manipulated by throwing them if I did not behave as they wanted. Just some adequate people helped me transport my art from place to place and so on. Until now, they are embarrassed if you want to take photos of paintings on the street. Although I do not understand what is terrible in them, there is much more expressiveness and better work than mine.
DISINFO: What drives you? Is it inspiration? A calling? Something you were born with?
This is one of the real joys that are available to me. When I create, I feel peace and I sense the meaning of my life. I very often can not find the words to rebuff the opponent, or I can not admit to love a person to whom I am indifferent, or I dream of something that will never happen – then I leave and reflect thoughts on the canvas. It can be an angry deity who will protect me and destroy my enemies. This can be a certain truth, which only the attentive will understand. Some topics want to rethink and find in them a hidden meaning, to give the viewer the opportunity to look at things from a different angle. Still – I want to be recognized better. But, it seems, I become even more incomprehensible.
DISINFO: Can you explain the path you have walked to become the artist you are? Who were your inspirations and influences when you began your journey as an artists and what other artists have you discovered along the way?
It seemed to me that everyone is working for the glorification of a bright traditional religion and universal values, sometimes it’s so flat and it’s gone that I’ve been boring since the young years. Of course, I did not realize that if you look for something that you are interested in, you will find very much. Once I really liked Alphonse Mucha, Klimt, Egon Schiele … Now I’m trying to understand all the genres in art .. My favorite genre was symbolism, it was there that all the pictures were on a mystical theme, sometimes rather gloomy and stunning, for example, graphics of Alfred Kubin. Then we only got an album of works by Giger. This was the most sinister for us at that time. Reading that he became rich and well-known, I realized that I can also do what I like, which was quite naive, because I, unfortunately, completely deprived of the ability to earn.
But to complete freedom is always far away. Throughout my life, I have had a cold relationship with the community, more often than others had problems out of nowhere. I sometimes felt uncomfortable that I could not bring myself to paint what would be sold. It’s like someone makes me do something that will not be in demand. I do not have the motivation to do much and often. I grew up a man who never uses his acquaintances and often hides his abilities. Many people will never know that I’m engaged in painting, music, singing in different genres. I never put money into promotion and never had producers. Some of my relatives know me just as a loser who did not get married and made a silly tattoo on her face. There were periods when those whom I approached to myself so convinced me of my futility with their disrespectful attitude that I was ashamed of my abilities, because I did not fit in with the representations of a woman. The lack of demand ruined my character and I became embittered and lonely, strange . Sometimes I worked a lot, sometimes I could not draw anything for months. Sometimes strong work was obtained, and sometimes so primitive pictures appeared, as if they were drawn by a child.