Something landed in LA over the weekend. It was the ninth wave of the invasion of LA by artist, Invader. This wave included an exhibition called Into The White Cube at Over The Influence Gallery, as well as Invader's signature mosaic tile installations all over the city.
If you are not familiar with Invader, I recommend that you get up to speed. He is a Paris-based artist who works in ceramic tile with a digital, pixelated style. He maintains anonymity for the obvious reason that his art is not always, shall we say, appreciated by local authorities. His pieces have become more detailed over the years from his trademark Atari-esque Space Invaders to more location specific images like the avocado and "The Dude" seen here.
What's great about Invader is that he creates a truly interactive brand of art. Not only are his pieces striking and beautiful, but he creates them with specific buildings and locations in mind. So there is a story in color and theme between the art and its pirated location. He invades and installs his art in various areas spread around the city. He does not reveal their locations. It becomes a race to find them before vandals or city cleanup crews get to them. Sometimes a piece may only be visible for a matter of hours, sometimes they remain undisturbed for months or even years. That's part of the game - you never know how long you've got to find them. Even though I was out fast - almost immediately - some had already been vandalized or removed.
This one put up a fight
Then, to take it one step further, Invader has an app called Flash Invaders. With this app, you can play against people all over the world by locating the mosaics and "capturing" them into the app. Invader sets points that you accumulate for each piece captured. Then you can track your position on a leader board, just like old-school arcade games where you would pour mountains of quarters into the machine until you were the sole possessor of the High Score. Wait, you remember arcades, right?
Here's a great example of how a mosaic is made specifically for a location
Invader creates this art ecosystem in each city he invades. He brings color, spontaneity, energy, and the thrill of the chase. Along the way, he makes his own urban statements in 8-bit glory. He calls LA his second home and we welcome back our adopted son.
For more on Invader click here.