Invader (born 1969) is a French urban artist who pastes up characters from and inspired by the Space Invaders game, made up of small coloured square tiles that form a mosaic. He does this in cities across the world, then documents this as an “Invasion”, with books and maps of where to find each invader.
Invader started this project in 1998 with the invasion of Paris – the city where he lives and the most invaded city to date – and then spread the invasion to 31 other cities in France, and for my luck he also invaded London, Cologne, Geneva, Newcastle, Rome , Berlin, Lausanne, Barcelona, Bonn, Ljubljana, Vienna, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Manchester, Darlington are among the 22 other European cities which have been invaded. In the world, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, Bangkok, Tokyo, Katmandu, Varanasi, Melbourne, Perth and even Mombasa are now invaded with his colourful characters in mosaic tiles.
The mosaics depict characters from Space Invaders and other video games from the late 1970s. The images in these games were made with fairly low-resolution graphics, and are therefore suitable for reproduction as mosaics, with tiles representing the pixels. The tiles are difficult to damage and weather-resistant.
Invader installed his first mosaic in the mid 1990s in Paris. According to the artist, it was a scout, or sentinel, because it remained the only one for several years. The programme of installations began in earnest in 1998.
The locations for the mosaics are not random, but are chosen according to diverse criteria, which may be aesthetic, strategic or conceptual. Invader favours locations that are frequented by many people, but also likes some more hidden locations. In Montpellier, the locations of mosaics were chosen so that, when placed on a map, they form an image of a giant space invader character.
The mosaics are half built in advance. When Invader arrives in a city he obtains a map and spends at least a week to install them. They are catalogued, pictured and Invader use a map indicating their locations within the city. Typically, mosaics are located 10 to fifteen feet above the ground, and often on street corners in areas of high visibility.
One of the more prominent places where the mosaics have been installed is on the Hollywood Sign. The first was placed on the letter D on December 31, 1999. During further trips to Los Angeles, Invader has placed mosaics on the 8 other letters of the sign.
Invader also works on another project that he titles “Rubikcubism”, which consists making artworks made of Rubik’s Cubes. Invader has had solo exhibitions at art galleries in Paris, Osaka, Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York City, and London.
Most recently, Invader placed two of his iconic tile works on the World Of Wonder Storefront Gallery, located at 6650 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood, CA. for the 4th annual I Am 8 Bit group show.
In 2010, he was one of the featured artists in the film Exit Through the Gift Shop in which it states he is a cousin of Thierry Guetta (Mr. Brainwash).
But who cares aboout it all….all I really care about is that they are DAMN CUTE!