Invader is the pseudonym of a French urban artist, born in 1969, who pastes characters from and inspired by the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, that are composed of small colored square tiles forming a space invader character mural mosaic. He does this in cities across the world, then documents this as an "Invasion", with books and maps of where to find each invader. His website was started in 2008.
The mosaics depict characters from Space Invaders and other video games from the early 1980s. The images in these games were made with fairly low-resolution graphics, and are therefore suitable for reproduction as mosaics, with tiles representing the pixels. The tiles are difficult to damage and weather-resistant.
Invader started this project in 1998 with the "invasion" of Paris – the city where he lives and the most invaded city to date – and then spread the invasion to 31 other cities in France (such as Montpellier, Marseille, Avignon, Rennes, Bordeaux, Lille, Chartres, or Bastia…). London, Brussels, Cologne, Geneva, Newcastle, Rome, Berlin, Lausanne, Fribourg, Barcelona, Bonn, Ljubljana, Vienna, Graz, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bilbao, Manchester, Darlington, Istanbul, Monaco are among the 23 other European cities which have been invaded. Throughout the world, São Paulo, Los Angeles, New York City, Puerto Rico, Miami, San Diego, Toronto, Bangkok, Tokyo, Katmandu, Varanasi, Melbourne, Perth and even Mombasa are now invaded with his colourful characters in mosaic tiles.
Invader installed his first mosaic in the mid 1990s in Paris. According to the artist, it was a "scout", or "sentinel", because it remained the only one for several years. The programme of installations began in earnest in 1998.
One of the more prominent places where the mosaics have been installed is on the Hollywood Sign. The first was placed on the letter D on December 31, 1999. During further trips to Los Angeles, Invader placed mosaics on the eight other letters of the sign.
Most recently,[when?] Invader placed two of his iconic tile works on the World Of Wonder Storefront Gallery, located at 6650 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood, CA. for the 4th annual I Am 8 Bit group show.
As of July, 2011, no arrest has been made of either of the two French nationals who were detained by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on suspicion of vandalism near MOCA's Little Tokyo gallery. Authorities believed one of the men detained only for suspicion was the French street artist Invader. Shortly after the two men were detained by LAPD, they were also released with no reported charges; however, authorities maintain one of the two men released was the artist "Invader". 
The mosaics are half-built in advance. When Invader arrives in a city he obtains a map and spends at least a week installing them. They are catalogued, photographed and Invader uses a map indicating their locations within the city. Typically, mosaics are located ten to fifteen feet above the ground, and often on street corners in areas of high visibility. Later, the maps, called "invasion maps", are sold in his online shop.
The locations for the mosaics are not random, but are chosen according to diverse criteria, which may be aesthetic, strategic or conceptual. Invader favours locations that are frequented by many people, but also likes some more hidden locations. In Montpellier, the locations of mosaics were chosen so that, when placed on a map, they form an image of a giant space invader character.
Invader also works on another project that he titles "Rubikcubism", which involves making artworks made of Rubik's Cubes.
Invader has had solo exhibitions at art galleries in Paris, Osaka, Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York City, London and Rome. Space Invader has shown in many galleries, art centers and museums, from the 6th Lyon contemporary art biennale (2001), the MAMA Gallery in Rotterdam (2002), at the Paris based Magda Danysz Gallery (2003), at the Borusan Center for Culture and Arts in Istanbul, Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles (2004).
In 2011, he took part in the MoCA LA show at the Geffen Contemporary : "Art in the streets" curated by Jeffrey Deitch. He was the first artist arrested for taking part in the show.
- Street Logos, Tristan Manco, Thames & Hudson, 2004, ISBN 0-500-28469-5
- L'Invasion de Paris, Invader, Editions Invader, 2003, ISBN 2-9520199-2-4
- Invasion Los Angeles, Invader, Editions Invader, 2004, ISBN 2-9520199-4-0
- Invasion in the UK, Invader, Editions Invader, 2007, EAN 9782952019972
- De Kunst van het Mozaieken [page 128]. Authors: Weitenberg & de Melo, Forte Uitgevers, 2010, ISBN 90-5877-739-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Space Invaders (street art).|
- Interview with the Artist (Video)
- More than 660 Hi-res photos + maps (Paris, Avignon, Côte d'Azur, ...)
- LA Weekly article
- Information at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann
- Pictures of 950 invaders in the parisian streets and suburbs
- An interview in russian online magazine (in Russian)
- interview on outsideleft.com
- Sample Art + Examples of Invader Editions
- Interactive Map of Geotagged Space Invaders
- Space Invader in Miami