“Each mosaic is a masterpiece at the same time as it is a fragment of a planetary meta network”

The French street artist who made a name for himself by installing mosaics modeled after famous Japanese video game motifs, space invader, within the walls of major international cities, Invader is the architect of a vast network of more than 4,000 works, woven together over twenty years. All listed on the app created for this purpose, lightning strikedesigned by the artist two years earlier Pokémon Go!, which allows 140,000 subscribers to follow his work and earn points as soon as they find and photograph one of his works. Represented by the Over the Influence gallery, the artist has managed to remain anonymous to the general public, appearing masked in an interview. This has not prevented him from exhibiting in the world’s largest museums and selling his work on the art market at increasingly higher prices. However, Invader’s work goes far beyond the iconic Space Invaders. It has expanded to other video games, such as Super Mariopass cartoons with Little mermaid and Pink panthersor in the cinema, with star wars, without forgetting pop celebrities like Serge Gainsbourg, or, on a more literary list, William Burroughs. Inspired by the places he “invaded”, each of his works is unique and shows a constant reinvention of his visual language. Borrowing from geek vocabulary, his approach is considered as a program of invasion of urban areas, through an artistic virus intended to infiltrate public space. Characterized by the encounter between mosaic and pixel, real space and virtual space, Invader’s work is thus based on a reflection of the place of digital technology in our society.

POTI_01, Potosi, Bolivia, 2021
POTI_01, Potosi, Bolivia, 2021

– attack

On the occasion of the exhibition 4000, which is held until January 22, 2023 at the Over the Influence gallery, as well as the publication of books that plagiarize his works like scriptures, 4000 – The Complete Guide to Space Invaders, 1998-2021, Invader returns to the microphone for Romain de Becdelièvre’s long career and sheds light on his creative process.

Across space and time

“It took me a long time to realize the power of sticking a piece out in the street. I realized I had found something new because you can see posters, graffiti and paintings on the streets, but no one thought to stick a mosaic when it was meant to be on the base. And most importantly, with the greatest luck, it was Space Invaders that I used first. By analyzing this bit of movement, I realized that Space Invaders meant space invaders, which was pretty awesome because that’s what I had done. […] So I started this urban space invasion, but also planetary space since very quickly, I want to get out of Paris, so that it will be a planetary phenomenon, not just France-Paris. » stormed

I really feel like I have started an endless project. Even I need several lifetimes to go through all of them because this world is so vast. In Paris alone, I have close to 1,500 poses and I can pose that many. Every day I find new paths, new angles, new potential places. I try to cover the planet as much as possible, but there are still many countries, cities, places that I have never been to. » stormed

VRN_13, Varanasi, India, 2008
VRN_13, Varanasi, India, 2008

– attack

An artist is like a sponge that absorbs things in his time. So I started representing a lot of themes other than video game characters. From pop culture characters to all kinds of objects, themes… In Hong Kong, you can see Bruce Lee. In London, a portrait of Sid Vicious. In New York, I did an entire series with New Yorker characters, from Woody Allen to Joe Ramone, Andy Warhol to Lou Reed, and many others. » stormed

​​​​​​​​DJBA_40, 183 x 80 cm, ceramic tile on panel and ID card, 2022
​​​​​​​​DJBA_40, 183 x 80 cm, ceramic tile on panel and ID card, 2022

– attack

The art of “urban acupuncture”

There is upstream work in the shop to design the parts, manufacture them, and then glue them together as quickly as possible. After that, there are no rules, I can install some in minutes and others in hours, depending on location and size. But the idea is to be as quick and discreet as possible. » stormed

I play with where I work, both in terms of the architecture and the memory of the place and support the work will receive » stormed

PA_1172 Paris, France, 2015
PA_1172 Paris, France, 2015

– attack

Each piece is unique. I imposed this restriction on myself early on never to reproduce the same mosaic twice. So out of 4000 mosaics you have 4000 different originals. And I said to myself, to stick with the video game idea, that I would give them a score anywhere from 10 to 100 points depending on the size, the difficulty I had to set it on and where it was placed » stormed

Current case

6 minutes

the news

  • Exhibition 4000 in the gallery

    On Influence

    in Paris, from 10 December 2022 to 22 January 2023. Approximately forty works (Alias) are presented, most of them new and unpublished, as well as a deluxe edition of the book, of which 500 copies are available, each signed, numbered and dated. Also, the Potosi invasion film where the 4000th mosaic is placed at 4000m, and a generative video gathering the 4000 space invaders listed in the book.

  • Profession 4000 – The Complete Space Invader’s Guide, 1998-2021published in December 2022, can be found by Control P edition. This book looks back over 20 years of the now legendary Space Invaders project, implemented on a planetary scale, in 170 cities.
  • Exhibition “Rubikcubist invader” to

    MIMA (Millennium Museum of Iconoclastic Art), in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in the Brussels region, will be found until January 8, 2023 . This is Invader’s first solo exhibition dedicated entirely to Rubikcubism. The term, coined by the artist in 2005, refers to his studio work around the Rubik’s cube, a famous colorful puzzle, with which he creates paintings and sculptures.

Exhibition view
View of exhibition “4000”, Galerie Over the Influence, Paris, 2022

– Invader / Photo: Julien Pepy

Sounds played during the performance:

  • Excerpt from an interview with Tomihiro Nishikado, the inventor of the Japanese game Space Invador.
  • Ernest Pignon Ernest on the transitory state of art, in France Inter’s “Le grand interview” program in March 2013.
  • Invader’s music selection: “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie.
  • Street artist VHILS questions the aesthetics of vandalism, during the “There is a place” program at France Inter, in May 2015.

The Big Table (part 2)

34 minutes

Posted in Art

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