French 'Art Invader' Hits NYC

What should you do if an 'Invader' lands on your property?

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network saw the works of Art Invader all over Paris during last week's visit to FIAC. Now we are preparing for an attack on the streets of New York.

As Banksy’s monthlong NYC “residency” has drawn to a close, another high-profile international street has started putting up pieces around Manhattan.

Invader, a Parisian artist whose works use mosaic tiles to evoke 8-bit video game graphics, announced he has “invaded” New York this past week, and he has since put up something like a dozen pieces mostly around downtown Manhattan. If they haven’t already, city property owners may soon notice young people taking photos in front of their businesses, drawn by the artist’s colorful works.

Although Invader’s indoor and outdoor work doesn’t sell for nearly as much as Banksy’s, it does sell. Invader is represented by street art kingpin Steve Lazarides in the UK and Jonathan Levine in the United States.

In the event that one of these arcade game-like mosaics show up on your property or someone you know, here’s some simple advice.

1) Don’t panic. Unlike Banksy’s work, street art fans aren’t going to be racing to catch a glimpse of Invader because he puts his work up really good: It is usually out of reach, sometimes 10 to 15 feet high, and glued on firmly, so it’s unlikely that a rival will even get a chance to deface it. Besides, while Banksy wall pieces have sold for seven figures, Invader’s works tend to go in the neighborhood of $5,000

2) Do not attempt to remove the work; you will probably only destroy it. Be happy that your location will have a little more foot traffic. That’s your payoff.

3) No need for plexiglass, roll-down doors, or any of the other methods people have used to protect their Banksys. The individual tiles which comprise the works are fabricated from colorful and weather-resistant resistant polymers. They should last the lifetime of your building.

And with that, happy Invader hunting.

Artist's History

Invader is the pseudonym of a French urban artist born in 1969, who pastes characters from and inspired by the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, that are composed of small colored square tiles forming a space invader character mural mosaic.

The mosaics depict characters from Space Invaders and other video games from the early 1980s. 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.

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

The mosaics are half-built in advance. When Invader arrives in a city he obtains a map and spends at least a week installing them. They are catalogued, photographed and Invader uses a map indicating their locations within the city. Typically, mosaics are located ten to fifteen feet above the ground, and often on street corners in areas of high visibility. Later, the maps, called "invasion maps", are sold in his online shop.

The locations for the mosaics are not random, but are chosen according to diverse criteria, which may be aesthetic, strategic or conceptual. Invader favors 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.

Here is the link to his website.