INVADER

Invader
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INVADER



Written by Anna Powell
05 Monday 05th December 2011

In the last decade, street art has become ever more mysterious. Where controversial graffiti was once the word on the street, a more clandestine type of art-making is now intriguing art fans and philistines alike. Invader is an artist whose work, which adorns the streets of many of the world's major cities, is simultaneously very public and very hidden.

Described as 'remaining outside the realm of human perception', his mosaic characters are inspired by the Space Invaders arcade game of the late 70s. They can be searched for as part of treasure-hunt type game which follows the artist's world-wide 'invasion', or simply chanced upon by those who look beyond that which is immediately obvious, and into the dark corners and obscured areas which Invader often chooses to install his iconic works. Now also exhibiting in some of the world's most innovative art galleries, Invader's latest show Attack of the Space Waffles includes previously unseen works, cosmic installations, and, well, Space-Invader-shaped waffles, it's one not to be missed.

You’ve put art on the streets of most of the world’s major cities and have also exhibited in numerous galleries. How does the experience of making art for the gallery differ from that of making art for the street, and what has your biggest challenge been?

The art I produce for the gallery is of course different than the art for the street, because of the environment, the viewer, and the experiences are different. I think the biggest challenge is what I do on so many occasions, being invited to participate in an art show, going there and invading the city while I install the show. That is always very intense.

Much of your street-based art seems to be hidden in some way, by being placed out of the public’s immediate eye-line or installed in remote locations. How do you think this affects people’s experience of it?

I generally do both: I put some pieces in very obvious spots where I’m sure people will see it, and also, as you mentioned, have some hidden ones because I think it will create a kind of special relationship with people who discover them.

People can purchase Invasion Kits and become a part of your Invasions themselves. How does this collaboration appeal to you?

I see it more as a collectable piece to use in your own home.

 

Your 'Urban Invasions' incorporate elements of a game, with a scoring system and maps available on your website. How important is it to you that art is fun for both artist and viewer?

This part is important to me because it is like it’s showing the submerged part of an iceberg. It shows that each piece is different, and each piece is linked to the piece before and the one after. Also it takes the concept of the video game into reality.

Your work has featured on Matt Groening’s Futurama, how did it feel to be a part of this cult animation series?

I didn’t know about it, and discovered it by turning the TV on. For sure that was a great surprise.

You must have become a Rubik’s cube expert since beginning your Rubikcubism series where you create images from the iconic 80s puzzles. How long did it take you to master your first Rubik’s cube?!

To create one of those pieces I just focus on one side of the cube. I learnt how to master a cube, but I guess I forgot it now because it is a horrible formula to know by heart.

 

You’ve been arrested during the installation of your street-based art, and have had some of your works taken down or damaged. Is this becoming less of an issue as your work is getting more well known?

Yes and no, I always had this kind of problem. In a city with millions of people, you will always have those few who vandalise street art, or few cops to arrest you just at the end of a new installation... I guess that’s just the rules of the game.

You’re serving up edible Space Invader waffles at your current show, Attack of the Space Waffles. Is this a comment on the consumable, or perhaps ephemeral, nature of much art, or do they just taste good?!

No, it is just that when I look at an object composed by a grid of squares, I think pixels and then I think Space Invader. That’s just what happened with waffles!

Attack of the Space Waffles has been described as out-there, surreal, and suitably seasonal’, can you tell us a bit more about what we can expect to see there?

I would prefer you to go and see by yourself.

Attack of the Space Waffles is on at The Outsiders in Soho until 24 Dec. More info at theoutsiders.net

See more from Invader at space-invaders.com

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