This week’s “Atlanta Creates” featured artist is a bit of a wild card. His art is anonymous and not available for purchase. His followers watch and wait for his social media updates to find out where his pieces have been hidden around the city (a popular game known as Free Art Friday or #fafatl) and then they race to claim them. The pieces disappear in a matter of minutes. Like many street artists, Catlanta’s work is well known, but his identity is a secret (which naturally makes the game more fun and interesting). Art for the sake of art, not commerce.
The cats here in our shoot were created in collaboration with a group of middle school students, but you can see the many varieties through a little research on Instagram!
Name and age: Catlanta, 25
Current neighborhood: East Atlanta
Hometown: Ellenwood, GA
What brought you to (or kept you in, or brought you back to) Atlanta?
I moved to the city from the suburbs in Fall 2006 to attend Georgia State University and have been here ever since. I love seeing this city grow and progress at a fairly rapid rate. There’s so much talent, creativity, and energy here that it’s hard to get tired of it for too long.
How do you pay the bills? What is your “slash”? (i.e. teacher/ amateur cupcake baker)
Oddly enough, I work as an assistant to an artist known for his images of dogs. I also work at a restaurant in town and occasionally take commission work.
What do you create?
Handpainted wooden kittens that I leave around the city for anyone to find and take home. I place the pieces, take pictures of their locations, and share the pictures on various social media platforms.
What do you collect?
Music, artworks, graphic novels, and recently hats
Your favorite artist now and as a child:
As a child, I really liked Andy Warhol after doing some school projects on him, but while I still enjoy some of his work, I don’t love it all. I really enjoy Chris Ware’s graphic novels and am always impressed by his writing and especially his illustrations.
An only in Atlanta moment:
Last summer I saw a guy get arrested after doing a backflip on the Braves dugout at Turner Field just as Lynyrd Skynrd went into the guitar solo for “Free Bird” during a free post-game concert. Pretty cool.
A favorite local business:
Favorite way or place to unwind:
Hiking in the many amazing parks and preserves that are located in or around the city limits. My favorite location is Cascade Springs in the West End, it’s a 120 acre nature preserve that is usually always empty. It’s a great place to clear your head.
Longest plane ride:
Atlanta to Rome
If you were a color in the biggest crayola box, which would you be?
Jazzberry Jam, of course.
Favorite US city? Favorite international city? (And why?)
I really liked visiting Seattle where you’re always very close to nature and it’s very walk/bike/transit friendly. I loved visiting Rome and taking in the incredible amount of history that that city contains. Walking among ancient ruins, Renaissance masterpieces, and over the top churches in one city is pretty cool, but it’s also has an edge which separates it from other cities.
Coolest thing you’ve ever been for Halloween:
Charlie Horse from Lampchop’s Play Along
What is your favorite dessert?
cookies, basically any type
What is your favorite artifact, heirloom, or art piece in your home?
My uncle’s turntable and record collection
What song do you love most (or what’s on your playlist now)?
Don’t know if I have a favorite, but Shuggie Otis’s “Strawberry Letter 23”
If you were going to write a book, what would be the title and what would it be about?
“Bodysurfing at the Edge of the Universe: A Memoir”
If you could have your own photo session anywhere in Atlanta, where would you choose and why?
Elton John’s apartment, just to check out some of his art collection.
Concerts or museums?
It depends on the time of year. Concerts in the Spring and Summer, Museums in Fall and Winter.
Sweet or savory (or your favorite brunch menu item)?
Savory, it’s simple, but gotta go with biscuits and gravy.
Favorite dog breed:
I’ve worked a lot of dogcare jobs over the years, so I’ve put a lot of thought into this question. Gotta go with pits.