Athena Kargeui [aka Sundaykat] has influenced countless kids, weirdos, and adults in the underground LA music scene with her flyer designs for local bands. She came out of the floodgate with her own unique style and has stuck with it. I first met Athena when I would go to The Smell religiously, where she’d often be at the door checking out zines and making her own…
Daniel Rolnik: How would you like to see the concert flyer evolve?
Athena Kargeui: I would hope more than anything that the DIY culture that encourages bands or musicians to make their own flyers (or to commission flyers from their friends and acquaintances) continues unabated and that it continues to provide upstart artists with a platform from which to express themselves and receive varying degrees of exposure. As to how it might evolve as a bona fide art form unto itself, that I’m unsure of. It will probably DEvolve into little more than photoshop collages slathered with meaningless text and no thematic resemblance to the shows being advertised. Hard to imagine, say, a Pettibon springing forth from any modern music scene, but perhaps that is just cynicism on my part. If it’s a matter of how I personally would like to see it evolve, it would be away from appropriating others imagery and toward more genuine talent.
DR: How many fliers for shows do you do a year?
AK: It depends. Some years quite a few, some years hardly any at all. I just returned to Los Angeles from three years living and 1 year of attending school in Peru, so my recent flyer output has definitely been on the upswing, but I tend to take offers as they come and don’t particularly make it a top priority or anything.
DR: What’s your favorite band to work with?
AK: The one that offers me money in exchange for my artwork?
DR: What’s your favorite secret spot in LA?
AK: Home. The fewer that know where I live or how to get ahold of me, the better. To me, a hermit-like existence facilitates the artistic process, not to mention cuts down on having to jump through the hoops of social cues and all manner of which could distract me from or dilute my art.
DR: Why do you have so many blogs, websites, and screen-names?
AK: You know how David Bowie went through all of his different phases- Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, the bland yuppie of the eighties and embarrassing old guy trying to be hip of the nineties? I view screen-names in a similar light. It is a way of re-invention, of wiping away the lightning bolt of a Sun Day Kat in favor of the coked out arrogance of a Lez Beyond Pussy. As for blogs and websites, it’s a matter of ‘everyone having fifteen blogs or websites in the future’ (none of which will last beyond fifteen entries and will always be neglected in favor of ‘liking’ friends’ posts on social networking sites).
DR: What’s the weirdest show you’ve seen at the Smell?
AK: Hard to say- my principle role at The Smell has always been as a volunteer versus a showgoer. Most shows I’ve seen have been from the vantage point of the front desk from behind a zine (the zine library being what brought me to The Smell in the first place, all those years ago). Jim Smith would regularly encourage me to go check out bands, and I’ve seen my share of good stuff, but for the most part, the stage is a long way from the door (though this was not an issue when bands would play in the front room).
All in all, The Smell means many things to me, but music is only a small part of that, so as far as weirdest performances go, that would be hard to say.
DR: What’s the story behind KOFUCUY painting?
AK: From ancient times a protruding tongue has stood to symbolize all manner of sexuality, fertility, and a melding of the masculine and feminine. In the art of children who are victims of sexual abuse, there is also a recurring theme of protruding tongues. With this in mind I went to work on this particular piece, using my own blood to achieve the color I sought. A lot of my work is meant as a means of catharsis or therapy, and this is no different. As for the title, ‘fuck you’ just tends to pop up in my head, a lot. When I’m dealing with others, when I’m looking in the mirror. Whether painfully picking apart the past or contemplating the future with a resounding shudder.
DR: Where can you find the dustiest corner of human life?
AK: In my paintings and drawings, DUH.
DR: We’ve seen punk become noise, where is it headed now?
AK: Discotheqs, the top of the pops. Drone-pop and ambient cuddlecore- you heard it here first.
DR: What are you planning on unleashing in the rest of 2011?.
AK: The interior of my cranium on a canvas of bedroom wall, using the medium of handgun and initialed bullet. Also zines, paintings, prints, e t c.