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Space Invader and his army

Many people forget that in the Banksy film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in addition to the artist himself, Shepard Fairey and the video operator, later known as Mr. Brainwash, another cult figure in the world of street art flashes – the Frenchman Invader with his mosaic “Space invaders”.

He defines himself as an UFA, an Unidentified Free Artist. He chose Invader as pseudonym and he always works in a mask, and even at the rare exhibitions at which he officially appears, the artist appears before visitors in a mask to maintain anonymity. Since 1998, he has developed a large scale project, code name: Space Invaders.

“Space Invaders” project, Paris

During his childhood, Franck played “Space invaders”. This video game, published by the Japanese company Taito, was all the rage in the early 80s. Fascinated by the world of technology and pixels, he decided to borrow the video game character and make it a symbol in his art. Wishing to remain anonymous, he adopted the pseudonym of Invader. Tomohiro Nishikado, the Japanese creator of the original game, never gave Invader any trouble as he gradually moved away from the game character and expanded his creations by taking inspiration from pop culture characters.

Paris, London, Hong Kong, Malaga, Los Angeles – the list goes on … the artist Invader continues to succeed in his mission of conquering the world with his mosaics. So far during 2021, he has produced nearly 4,000 works across the globe and is nowhere near finished. Present in 79 cities around the world, he is also available in many art galleries and on Artsper! On his website you can find the “world invasion”, a map listing the location of each of his works. Originally, his maps were made on paper and are now highly sought after by collectors. The price of a map can go from 100 to 1 000 $!

World invasion map, source :

When he began, he launched his website Space Invaders, which featured a store to finance the purchase of glue, tiles and cement for his artwork. In 2014, he developed his mobile application Flash Invaders. This app is extremely successful and now has over 140,000 users. The goal of the game is simple: capture as many invaders as possible on the street to earn maximum points. An Invader can earn between 10 and 100 points. The city of Paris, which has about 1,326 Invaders, alone earns a total of 34,160 points. The application is fun and very easy to use; you just have to take a picture of each invader you come across. Each composition includes a QR code, which the app will recognize. This addictive game, used by the youngest as well as by the elderly, strengthens the rapport between the artist and his supporters.

In order to manage his creations, he stores everything in a database. He enters the date, the place and two photographs from different angles, in addition to numbering them. Every Invader conceived is thought out thoroughly; for example, in the city of Montpellier, the 44 invaders form one giant Invader when outlined on a map. This is the only time Invader has decided to install them in such a way. He explains that he always surveys the location of his artworks 15 days prior to their installation. As such, the location of the college is considered carefully and nothing is done at random. Once satisfied with his work, he makes it known via a post on his social media. Invader has also written several books in which he compiles information about each of his works.

Invader usually creates between 20-50 works in the city as part of the so-called “invasion”. Sometimes he comes back several times, as he himself says “invasion waves”. He has already been banned from entering some countries due to problems with the police. Perhaps this is Hong Kong and Japan, where until recently things were very bad with street art, and any intervention of street artists in the urban environment was punishable by large fines or more serious measures.

Vacuum packed Invader waffle, 2011

The artist Invader

The artist Invader, MaMo Marsel, 2020

When the artist is asked for what purpose he came to the city, he replies that he came in order to capture this city. His army is first generation arcade game characters. Each action of the Space Invader is carefully planned, because there is always a risk of being caught by the police.

His exhibitions are held in Europe and America. The unusual talent of the Space Invader attracts many admirers and followers.


Illustrations source:


Zoye Harbova

I INVADE DJERBA (An adventure of Invader) 2020, HD video, color, sound, 24 minutes 1 second.

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