Invader, an anonymous French street artist, is best known for his pixelated mosaics that he has installed in cities all over the globe. Invader's tiles look like the old graphics in Space Invaders. This is the origin of Invader's pseudonym. The artist stated that he has never felt compelled to reveal his identity. "What I do and what I create is more important than who I am," Invader said. Invader was born in Paris, France in 1969. He continues to live in Paris and work there.
Invader attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he often tells interviewers that he was trained at a Mars-based tiling school. Invader loves video games characters but he also designs them in a way that blends with the surrounding environment. Invader claims that his artistic invasions in real life are more fun than anything he had ever seen at an arcade. Invader was arrested for placing a mosaic onto the famous Hollywood sign in 2010. He was fined!
Invader showing off his latest work in Manhattan - Photo credit: Unknown
“Going into a city with tiles and cement and invading it,” says anonymous French street artist Invader of his craft. “This is the most addictive game I have ever played.
The mosaics are made from weather-resistant tiles. Installation typically takes around one week. This includes scouting, recording and mapping locations. Invader's works are prominently displayed at the Hollywood Sign in California.
The first mosaic work was placed on the "D" on December 31, 1999. Invader also creates mosaics and pixelated works with Rubik’s Cubes. Invader's work has been displayed in galleries all over the globe since 2000. His fame and popularity grew even more after he was featured on the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) about Street Art.
Hollyweed (RedEdition) - Invader
Invader's method is discrete and quick. His team uses cement or other innovative glues to attach tiles to walls. Invader's work is visible to the public and could be considered illegally damaging property. He may even be arrested. Invader is an "Unidentified Free Artist", keeping his identity secret, using a mask and a pseudonym to disguise his true name.
Invader uses powerful public art to challenge the current institutions of conformity. This political message is not without resistance from the state, who considers street art a crime. Invader supporters have been historically punished.
One example is the two-week imprisonment of a gallery owner for supporting Invader. These cases evoke a discussion about the connection between street art vandalism. However, street art is slowly becoming more accepted in galleries and less of a crime.
Aladdin Sane Clyde - Invader
Some people call me a polluter, others say I'm an artist. I prefer to think of myself as an invader!
Invader, like many artists today, has built a database to store every production. Artists can now easily access their creative output thanks to technological advancements. Invader used to travel around cities with a map of the city and a notebook to keep track of where a work was located. Artists need to have a source of information that can be used to track the production of their work.
Invader started his signature practice in late 1990s. He plastered mosaic Space Invaders (a character from an Atari 1978 game) on Paris' streets. The works quickly became a common sight in cities all over the globe, including Los Angeles and Kathmandu, thanks to Pac-Man ghosts as well as other 8-bit characters.
He says, "Each time that I put a new item in the street it is like an unforgettable exhibit." Invader's use of mosaic tiles as a signature is a reference the ubiquitous pixels of digital information and imaging.