I have hard time believing that anyone would buy any unauthenticated mosaic tiles as people could simply go to Home Depot and do it by themselves.”
— Space Invader
French mosaic artist Space Invader has traveled the world, and placed his street art in over sixty cities in more than thirty countries. He’s been arrested a few dozen times, but says that’s part of the job.
Life and Education
Space Invader has chosen to remain anonymous, so the little that is known about his comes from his website and interviews that he has chosen to give. Invader is from Paris, went to school at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Sorbonne. Invader says that only a few people know his real name and his parents think that he works for construction companies as a tiler. Invader’s cousin, Mr. Brainwash, shot Banksy’s film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, featured Invader and his work.
Invader’s first tile designs were based on the characters of the Space Invaders video game, although each of his designs are unique and tailored to the city, the building and the context in which it is installed.
Many of Invader’s works are partially built in advance to make it easier to install once he gets to a city and decides where he wants to place his work. Most of the locations that he has used were done without the knowledge or consent of the location’s owner, but, a few years ago, Invader has sent out requests, on social media, asking for building owners to allow him to use their sites legally.
Because of its value, Invader’s work is sometimes vandalized. “A large number of the pieces are removed, damaged or destroyed by individuals who seek to resell them.” he said, “Given the type of tiles I use, to steal the work is impossible. These individuals by removing the mosaics destroy the piece and then have to buy ceramics to repair or recreate the work. They even try to add a patina to make it look vintage. They then try to sell these bad replicas! I have hard time believing that anyone would buy any unauthenticated mosaic tiles as people could simply go to Home Depot and do it by themselves … I can only hope that soon enough nobody will be tempted to buy or steal pieces in the streets and therefore that this nonsense and painful destruction will stop.”
In addition to his tile work, Invader has created works using Rubik’s Cubes and barcode patterns. He has had exhibited in galleries in Hong Kong, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Rome and other major cities, where this works sell in the six-figure range.