Artist Philip Košćak has their art up at Cerritos’ window dressing

Phillip+flying+in+the+sky

Phillip Košćak

This is Phillip Košćak, who’s the artist for the last window dressing this semester, as they’re flying into the night.

Samuel Chacko, Editor-in-Chief

After hitting the snooze button on his alarm ten times, Phillip Košćak normally wakes up at 7:30 a.m. to get ready for his job at a community college and finishes his shift at 5 p.m.

Košćak holds multiple degrees as they hold a BA in Art and MA in Visual Art at California State University, Northridge and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Philip got into art when he was five, “I found a journal from Kindergarten and it had a picture of me saying I want to be an artist.”

“When I was younger, a very impactful thing that happened to me was moving from South Bay to Thousand Oaks,” they said, “There were so many things about race I had to deal with.”

“I got high marks because I loved learning and that all changed when I moved and I dealt with a lot of social things in middle school and my grades dropped like crazy,” Košćak added.

Košćak got into music first as he would study classical music up through university but decided to study visual arts.

“I was studying a wind performance [music] in Cal State Northridge […] I had a car accident and I had time off to think about things,” Košćak said.

“I felt like it was the traditional sense […] but once I started to think, ‘why do I have to wear a uniform before I play?’”

Košćak gives an example where they got chewed out by his music professor for wearing a beanie during a rehearsal.

“When I started to learn more about art, it also included music, it just became so open with the possibilities,” they explained.

“I always wanted to do art [in high school] but you see all of these kids drawing really good and I didn’t have that confidence.”

Košćak had his Graduate degree show for his MA at Northridge, where they show off the work they’ve worked on for the past two years.

“That made me very proud because I come from an immigrant family […] it felt good,” they said, “It was a very personal thing to have them come and see it.”

The art show, “It was selfish. It was beautiful,” was one of the shows that Košćak cites as important to them.

“My thesis at Cranbrook is very important to me because it encapsulated everything,” they said, “My mom got to attend [and] it was bittersweet.”

Unlike some artists, Košćak is less regimented with his art time, “I didn’t work like that, I would get bored,” they laughingly said.

“I keep a notepad of things I hear and phrases,” Košćak said about their art process, “I think finding objects has inspired a lot of my projects.”

Halloween story
This is the story that Phillip Košćak wrote when he was a kindergartener and was written in 1996. (Phillip Košćak)

One of Košćak’s favorite art pieces came from when he was in kindergarten and first grade, “Reading it now, it reads very differently.”

“I found it in grad school and people thought I made it up,” they said, “It was a very sincere writing and how some of these feelings that I still have kind of manifested early in kindergarten.”

They were recommended by a friend that Cerritos is taking proposals for their window dressing and had their drawings more straightforward.

“I just want to make drawings in the window that would take up space like a store would,” they said.

Košćak drew Kermit the Frog for the window dressing and it goes back 10 years ago for them.

“It stemmed from this experience of things I had and I just want to draw Kermit the Frog from memory,” they said, “One of my mentors said, why don’t you do 100 of them?’ so I started to draw a bunch of them.”

Košćak explained that Kermit the Frog became this non-binary character and when he first started drawing those frogs, he questioned if these frogs would be friends, lovers or if would it be a mirror.

“10 years later, it’s just a character I use and a lot of the poses I use are going to be more playful,” they added, “It’s not about a journey or straight narrative, it’s just a bunch of frogs performing for your entertainment.”

The artist said that he would want to create a memory, have the viewer ask questions and for the viewers to come in with their own narrative.

Košćak shouts out Samantha Fields and Heather McGill for listening to their process and also being critical, “I really needed someone to be tough on me to keep pushing my work.”

The two artists that inspire them are Mike Kelly and Félix González-Torres.

Kelly has more empathy-based work that they relate to and González-Torres uses everyday materials to portray an “extremely quiet but bold” theme.

Outside of his job and creating art, Košćak loves playing more calmer games like “Stardew Valley,” “Undertale” and “Unpacking.”

Philip gave their advice to any up-incoming artists, “One of my biggest [pieces of] advice is to pursue education where you can get the most funding/scholarships.”

They have a show that they’re participating in called, “Post-It show” on Dec. 3 through Dec. 11 at 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA and is an annual show where the work created is made on post-it notes, the work there will be sold for $30.

Their art project titled, “IM LATE TO THE PARTY BUT IM ALWAYS ON TIME” will be on display at the Fine Arts from Dec. 5 through Dec. 16.