Catlanta gets our hearts racing a little, like just hearing the words makes us think of running to a hidden location and throwing 'bows to be the lucky one to take home Atlanta's new favorite bubble-bodied feline (did we have an old favorite? Hmm. Whatever.)
As the city's obsession with this adorable game of street art hide-and-seek reaches fever pitch, Catlanta joins Living Walls. And even though he wasn't "born" in time for last year's conference, he's seriously making up for it this year. And hey, there's more! We sat down with the human-behind-the-cat to listen raptly to the story of how Catlanta came to grace our city streets, how the project is manifesting during Living Walls, and how even the High Museum of Art is krazy for kittens.
Yesterday, we did an interview with Evereman. What you guys produce is clearly very different - cats vs. little...uhh, face...block...guys. But how people interact with your work and how you distribute it is basically the same. Did you have him in mind when you were getting started?
Sort of. It started with me finding a bunch of magnets outside my work and made the first cats. I immediately saw the relationship to what Everman was doing and I didn’t want to step on his toes. It was definitely something I worried about. But I knew him and I knew he would be supportive of any project like this. I wish sometimes that my project could be more like that, to leave more stuff and leave it hidden for longer.
What is Catlanta’s involvement in Living Walls this year?
About 20 artists and other random people involved with Living Walls are completing Cats for a drop. Some people helping run the event, random graf writers not involved with Living Walls...it’s a random, great group. So that’s part of it. I’ll be giving a pecha kucha on Saturday. I’ll be painting at the Goat Farm but I won’t be doing a mural.
Pecha Kuchas are narrated slide shows in front of an audience — how are you going to pull that off without giving up your identity?
I’m still working on that. We’re looking for an older woman to be me, so if you know anyone...
We know a lot of the usual reasons street artists often hide their identity, but everyone seems to have a different answer...what’s yours?
At the start of Catlanta, I had several people going after me for what I had tagged and they knew my identity. They were really threatening towards me. And now, like, I don’t care if someone who knows it’s me wanting to talk to me about it, but in general, it’s like, I just want to hang out at a party and not talk about cats. And beyond that, being anonymous lets the project exist on its own without being attached to a specific person. So someone can hate me and still enjoy Catlanta, which is the best thing about it - anyone can participate.
Are these Living Walls cats (by you and other artists) going to be distributed like normal (Flickr / Twitter announcement followed by a general mad dash of the masses?) Or is there a special game plan for these guys?
I think the drop is going to start at Criminal Records. Ideally, there would be a map there that people could grab with the locations of other cats. I’d like to give those people who come to Criminal a ten minute head start and then put it on the internet like normal for everyone else. We don’t have it all figure out yet but that would be my plan.
Since the beginning, you’ve tried to make Catlanta ever-changing — with new designs, media, themes, special editions, etc. — what’s next after Living Walls (or can we not know? You street artists and your secrets, jesus.)
I’m doing an event with the High Museum in conjunction with one of their upcoming exhibitions. I don’t want to give too much away about that just yet, but I’ll definitely keep everyone posted. It’s gonna be really cool. Other than that, I’m hoping to paint more murals. My painting at Living Walls isn’t just a Catlanta. It’s a self-portrait of me as a cat. A cat with a Catlanta. Who knows what else is coming up. I’m just gonna try to mix it up and keep it interesting.
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