Walking down the streets of Los Angeles, you may have noticed the unique mosaic artwork that was illicitly installed by the anonymous French artist who goes by the name of Invader.
For over 20 years he has been invading cities around the world. According to the Los Angeles Times, he has stealthily put up over 3,500 public works on five continents in 77 cities.
No one knows what he looks like. He visited Los Angeles for the ninth time last May and installed 29 new pieces. Over 100 of his pieces in Los Angles are still being displayed.
His exhibition “Into the White Cube” opened Nov. 17 at the Over The Influence gallery in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District which not only features many of his mosaics and a film, but also his first publicly displayed canvas works.
The tile mosaics are pixelated versions of the 1980s Space Invader video game characters. Inside the exhibit, an entire wall is covered with over 50 new, colorful mosaics.
Since Invader puts up his artwork without the permission of the property owners, his artwork can be controversial. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was arrested in many countries but never charged.
He will not go back to some countries due to his fear of prosecution. However, according to his website, some police officers recognize and even enjoy his art.
Invader goes to great lengths to install his art without being seen. He often works at night but if he does during the day he dresses as a person who blends in with the environment.
For example, he has posed as a construction worker in a populated urban area.
According to the Los Angeles Times, he has also dressed up as a hiker when he invaded the letter “D” of the Hollywood sign and since has made his mark on every letter on the sign.
“We broke the rules of the system and some people did not appreciate that,” Invader said to Los Angeles Weekly. “At that time, street artists were not taken seriously. But I think nowadays this is less and less true because today you can’t deny that street art is actually one of (if not the most) important art movements of our time.”
In Los Angeles or cities around the world, if you look at your surroundings more closely, you may be able to see one of Invader’s many mosaics.