There are many art works displayed in random buildings in cities around the world by various street artists who usually have an alias. Artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey explore different city streets globally where they set their visual masterpieces for the public to spectate. There is one street artist who is known for depicting popular characters from 8-bit video games in his art works including Space Invaders, which is the inspiration for his pseudonym, Invader. Although his actual name isn’t known and his face is pixilated in his rare interview appearances, Invader prefers to maintain the public’s attention solely on his creative pieces.
One of Invader’s most popular works floats on a city wall located in Bilbao, Spain. The wall is invaded by the ghosts from the popular third-generation game Pac Man, and each of the ghosts can be seen making an appearance in their original pixilated form. In order to achieve such a pixel-like illusion, Invader uses mosaic tiles to form all of the phantoms’ details, including their eyes. It is a technique used not only for his Pac Man related pieces but for all of his other masterpieces spread throughout the world as well.
According to Invader, the digital characters he recreates through his pieces are a representation of them escaping the 8-bit graphic world and entering reality. That notion stands well with many of his ‘invasions’ that have successfully marked their territories across the globe. Currently, Invader has mastered 3,687 art works in 77 cities from countries that include the U.S., China, England, Brazil and France, the latter being the street artist’s home country. Just like in the games that house the creatures that he liberates on the streets at night, there is a score that Invader assigns to each piece he creates. The score ranges from 10-100 and each city earns its ranking by adding their scores.
Although it might seem like these invasions are displayed in random places, there are some compelling sites where Invader has been that take great exertion for his fans to get to. One such site rests in the depths of the Ocean in Cancun, Mexico where only experienced scuba divers can explore the underwater invasions. Another interesting place where one of his Space Invaders is located is in a ski lift in Anzère, Switzerland, and the highest one, called SPACE2, lives in the International Space Station.
In order to create his invasions, Invader uses guerilla tactics where 20 to 50 Space Invaders are placed in targeted cities at night while he wears a mask. The mosaics are illegally constructed on various sites, and as a result Invader has been arrested more than once and some of his artwork has been torn down. Although for the most part Invader’s pieces remain complete in their full forms, he calculates that around 15 percent of his Space Invaders are no longer on display, and much of the reason has to do with vandalism. Regardless, Invader’s creative pieces remain admired and anyone who finds one of them will feel like they have been transported into a 70’s pixilated video game.