Street Artist Of The Day: Invader
Who are you Invader? Where do you come from?
I define myself as an UFA, an Unidentified Free Artist. I chose Invader as my pseudonym and I always appear behind a mask. As such, I can visit my own exhibitions without any visitors knowing who I really am even if I stand a few steps away from them. Since 1998, I have developed a large scale project, code name: Space Invaders.
Montauban, France, 2008
What is the Space Invaders project about?
It is first of all about liberating Art from its usual alienators that museums or institutions can be. But it is also about freeing the Space Invaders from their video games TV screens and to bring them in our physical world. Everything started the day I decided to give a material appearance to pixelization through ceramic tiles. I first wanted to create a series of “canvases” but I soon realised that tiles were the perfect material to display these pieces directly on the walls. I then had the idea of deploying my creatures on the walls of Paris and soon after in cities around the globe. Each of these unique pieces become the fragment of a monumental installation.
Vienna, Austria, 2008
Quartier21 + Museumsquartier
What is your invasion strategy? What are the rules of the game?
Little by little, I organised a detailed process by which I explore international densely populated urban areas and “invade” them. Usually, I try to display 20 to 50 pieces per city, which is already a good score. Sometimes I happen to return several times in the same city, deploying different “invasion waves” as I like to call them. The goal is to increase my score by continuously and restlessly invading new spaces. “Anytime, Anywhere” is the philosophy…I try to evolve and reinvent myself at all time while leading a precise and serious aesthetic invasion project.
Miami, USA, 2010
Jonathan Levine Gallery
Would you describe your work as Contemporary Art? As a Game? As Graffiti? As Street Art?
All of the above, and much more.
ART IN THE STREETS
MOCA, Los Angeles, 2011
How many people are involved in this project?
I am surrounded by a small team, this is a very confidential operation.
There are other people in Paris or elsewhere, who following their own path, have started to install mosaics in the street of their cities.
These totally independent initiatives are out of my control but it is nice to notice that in a certain way, I have started a movement.
Galerie le Feuvre, La générale, Paris, 2011
Why did you choose the Space Invaders as a central figure for your project?
In my own eyes, they are the perfect icons of our time, a time where digital technologies are the heartbeat of our world.
As these creatures are made of pixels they are in some sorts ready-made for tile reproduction. Finally, their names are literally predestined for the project I have pioneered: they are “Space Invaders!”.
GRAFFITI – ETAT DES LIEUX
Galerie du Jour, Paris, 2009
Did Taito, the creator and owner of the “Space Invaders”, try any legal actions against you?
They have contacted me on several occasions but without really any prejudice. In a certain way, I work with them, not against them.
This said, my initial source of inspiration was the Space Invaders and a few other video games but I have rapidly developed new models and created totally original icons. My creatures are now quite detached from the four original Taito creatures. My universe is full of other references that complete my repertoire. For example, I recently created a Pink Panther, a Mona Lisa or a Peter Pan.
These new development have happened consistantly, throughout the years.
How do you chose the placement of your mosaics?
It is an essential part of the invasion and it is a very subjective decision. I need to identify the neuralgic points of the cities I visit. It takes a lot of time as it is a long scouting process. I often compare it as urban acupuncture.
How do you operate once in the streets? Are the mosaics prepared in advance before being glued?
It depends. I have developped several techniques that allow me to adapt myself to different situations such as the time and the place of the invasion, the size of the mosaic, the height of the wall…in order to be the quickest and the most discrete possible.
You can find Invader HERE.