Invader is a French street artist who is known for his ceramic tile mosaics modeled on the pixelated art of 1970s–1980s 8-bit video games, many of which depict the titular aliens from the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders (the inspiration for his pseudonym).
A graduate of a Parisian Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Invader initially derived inspiration for his creations from the video games he played when he was growing up in the 1970s and 80s. Using tiles to represent the pixels in the games' 8-bit graphics, Invader began making mosaics in Paris in the 1990s, and went on to install mosaics in 31 other cities in France.
Invader has since staged "invasions" in cities and countries worldwide, including seven in New York City and three in Hong Kong. He often installs mosaics in culturally and/or historically important locations, with one high-profile example being his December 31st, 1999 mosaic on the letter D of the Hollywood sign marking the Y2K bug. During subsequent trips to Los Angeles, he also placed mosaics on the eight other letters of the sign.
Paris remains a primary location for the artist's work; in June 2011, Invader marked the installation of his 1,000th work in Paris with an exhibition at La Générale entitled 1000. Since 2000, he has also installed more than 70 pieces of work around Hong Kong. As of January 2020, Invader had created mosaics in 79 cities, with 3,858 Space Invaders comprising over 1.5 million ceramic tiles, and had published 24 "invasion maps."
In 2012, Invader made a short film Art4Space documenting his attempt to launch one of his aliens into space on a modified weather balloon.
Invader also makes QR code mosaics using black and white tiles. The patterns can be easily decoded using standard QR reader smartphone apps; one such message, when decoded, reads, "This is an invasion."
As of December 2020, his creations can be seen in highly-visible locations in 79 cities in 33 countries. To accompany his citywide installations, or "Invasions", Invader publishes books and maps as guides to the locations of his mosaics.
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