‘What I do and create is more important than who exactly I am’.
Beginning his practice in the late 1990s, Invader is an anonymous French street artist best known for his pixelated mosaics. His works are inspired by vintage graphics and video games, with his own moniker taking inspiration from the video game, ‘Space Invaders’. Composed from single tiles, Invader’s murals resemble classic 80s graphics, evoking a deep sense of nostalgia.
Like other street artists, Invader uses public space as a canvas and aims to ‘invade’ the world on an international scale. From Manchester to Marrakech, Invader’s work can be found across the globe. In 2015, Invader went interstellar, teaming up with the European Space Agency to get a mural in space, proving that the artist’s reach truly has no limits.
Due to the anonymous nature of Invader, little is known about the French street artist’s upbringing or education. The unidentified artist was first brought to the public’s attention in the late 1990’s, when mosaic Space Invaders started to appear on the streets of Paris. Inspired by the 1978 Atari game, Invader’s miniature alien mosaics soon evolved into a whole cast of 8-bit characters that began materialising across the city. Although Invader has always prioritised working in the public space, by the new millennium, the French artist had started exhibiting in both group and solo exhibitions.
His first ever solo exhibition, entitled New Player Insert Coins, took place in 1999 at Jean Charles de Castelbajac CS, in Paris, France. This was closely followed by Same Player Shoot Again, which was held the following year at Galerie Almine Rech in Paris. Invader’s reach soon became international as he came to feature in his very first group exhibition outside of Europe, at The Almine Rech Gallery in New York. Since then, Invader has been involved in fifteen group exhibitions and subject to nineteen solo exhibitions.
Alongside Invader’s exhibited work, the artist has launched the Space Invaders Project, which endeavours to liberate art from its usual context of museums and institutions. Instead, the artist creates public artwork all around the globe, with the aim of creating at least 20 to 50 works in one city alone. Like the video games from which the characters originate, each creature is awarded a score based on location, intricacy and how difficult it was to install. Invader currently has 3960 murals across 79 cities and on 6 continents. By creating murals all across the world, the earth itself becomes an exhibition and each unique piece a fragment of a tentacular installation.
In 2021, the artist was incredibly successful, with collectors and critics taking note of his art across the world. According to ArtPrice, Invader's index doubled from 2020 to 2021, with the median price that his artwork achieved at auction being twice that the amount garnered last year. Throughout the year, the artist also created new artworks, ‘invading’ more cities including Manchester and Marseille, showing that his career is just beginning.