The El Camino College Art Gallery is set to close its doors today, Thursday, after showcasing striking art pieces in “Personal Tales” over the past couple of weeks.
Among the 19 artists featured, Filip Kostic has generated the most buzz for his intricate self-portrait of himself with a snake-like head.
“A snake is always shedding its skin and symbolizes a rebirth of ideas: that’s how I feel right now in my life,” said Kostic, 20.
Kostic is the only artist showcased in the art gallery who is not a professional artist – as of yet. This is Kostic’s first time being showcased in a gallery that is not academically related.
“The self-portrait took me 120 hours to complete,” he said, “but I was still very surprised to find out that it would be featured.”
Kostic is currently an Art major at El Camino College and plans to transfer out next spring to Art Center College of Design.
“I thought I wanted to play water polo for the rest of my life,” Kostic admitted, laughing.
Standing tall at 6 feet 9 inches, Kostic originally planned on getting through school on a water polo scholarship, but after suffering an injury that hindered his ability to throw, Kostic had to reconsider his academic plan.
After showcasing a portrait of a man with a Minotaur head at a student gallery over Spring Break in 2012, his decision to pursue art became solidified.
“One of the reasons I love showing my work is seeing the reaction it causes in others,” Kostic explained. “I don’t care if people like my work, but I do care about the human experience. It’s just cool to see what my work can cause.”
One belief that is strongly emphasized in all of Kostic’s work is the need for recognition towards the art community. Art can change the world, he believes.
Kostic also deeply believes in the value of the individual.
“I’m on this journey to find myself and my reason of being, like why am I here now at this time and this place. Everyone has a purpose in this universe and they’re just as important as the person sitting next to them in the great cosmos.”
A lot of Kostic’s work is meant to be seen holistically since he frequently steps 10 to 15 feet back when drawing to see the piece’s entirety.
“90-plus hours of the self-portrait were spent drawing, but I used the rest of the time just stepping back and looking at the portrait as a whole from different angles.”
Kostic frequently shares his art pieces on Instagram @filipkostic which shows the growth of every piece, including the self-portrait.
Kostic’s artwork is also available for purchase at society6.com/fkillustrations.
The El Camino College Art Gallery is located at 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance.