Interview with Invader
Parisian street artist Invader’s instantly recognizable colorful mosaics have invaded urban landscapes in over 40 cities from around the world from Bangkok to Kenya to Tokyo. Using the classic 1978 Atari video game Space Invaders as an early point of reference, Invader starting in 1996 began installing pixelized mosaics of Space Invaders as well as other characters of the 8-bit video game era. Earlier this spring, I snapped a couple photos of his mosaic artwork installed here in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.
If you’re wondering what the point is, Shepard Fairey helps contextualize Invader’s art:
Whether or not he intended it, Space Invader’s work mirrors the video game culture it references, acknowledging the sensory-overloaded public’s need for immediately digestable symbols. Invader’s pop art may seem shallow, but by taking the risk of illegally re-contextualizing video game characters in an urban environment that provides more chaotic social interaction than a gamer’s bedroom, he makes a statement about the desensitizing nature of video games and consumer culture.
For more, check out this insightful video interview with a Darth Vader helmeted Invader. Watch until the very end for his unveiling.