For the past year or so, Atlanta has become smitten with the local street artist Catlanta who posts little wooden cats around town in an effort “to challenge people’s perceptions of street art, encourage participation, and get people out of their houses to explore the city” (from his interview with Scoutmob). So, here’s the drill: he makes a litter of kittens, uses social media to let his fans know what part of town he’ll be dropping, and then posts close-up pictures of the cats with hints as to their location, madness ensues. We’ve been following Catlanta for several months, with a few unsuccessful hunts under our belt, so the opportunity to see what happens “behind-the-scenes” was one we simply couldn’t pass up.
For the video we’re making about him, we thought it would be cool to have him put out an Atlanta-themed litter. We started at his parents’ house, where he cuts and paints the cats, whose characters he took from his followers’ suggestions on Facebook and Twitter. There was Varsity kitty, Blondie (with a crushed beer can situated nicely in the cleavage of her hot pink bra), Marta kitty, Coca-kitty, Big Boi and Andre 3000.
The next day, we filmed the actual scavenger hunt. People were serious about getting their hands on an Atlanta kitty. We had to scrap one drop because people were beginning to catch on. Within two minutes of each tweet, people came RUNNING in a dead sprint for the cat. Upon finding said kitty, leaping and high-fiving and chest-bumping abounded. And we’re talking grown-ass men, y’all.
It was hard to get interviews because people were afraid they’d miss the next drop! While the competition was fierce, the spirit was friendly. The kittens were nabbed within five minutes of the drops, but people came running in for at least a half hour after. No anger, just breathless laughter as they scrambled for their phones to see where the next one was going to land. On our way home, we tried for a few kitties ourselves, but to no avail.
Thanks to Catlanta, his parents, and his fierce following for your help with this project and for making us believe in art, Atlanta, and the human spirit!