When I was in Paris last year, I was gazing around, admiring the architecture of the buildings (okay, okay, I was looking for somewhere to get a chocolate croissant), and I spotted a small mosaic on the side of a building that reminded me of a video game I used to play as a kid.
I took a picture, of course, but didn’t think much of it other than that it made me smile.
Then, maybe later that day or the next, I saw another one:
From then on, it became kind of a treasure hunt for me and I would get so excited when I spotted a new one. Sadly, I’m sure I missed a lot because they are all (at least the ones I did find) well above eye level, so you really have to be on the lookout for them everywhere you’re walking.
Anyway, when I got home, I did some research to see if I could find the story behind these works of art. Thanks to Google, I found the responsible artist, who – very appropriately – calls himself “Space Invader”, which is the name of that video game I mentioned. Apparently, he has had some run-ins with the police and there are some in the street art world who do not appreciate his talents. Therefore, the Space Invader keeps his identity a secret and has his face pixelated in any photos or videos he is in (kinda like his work of art below).
According to the website www.stencilrevolution.com, Space Invader is a French citizen and in his early 40s. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and is cousin to another Parisian street artist. He has taken his work world-wide, showing up in places like Miami, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He even got arrested in California for placing one of his mosaics on the famous Hollywood sign! But his work is not all done undercover or illegally. He has had several gallery showings and sells some of his pieces online through his own website: www.space-invader.com. The latest tally showing on the site says that he has a total of 3,070 invaders across 62 cities (mostly in Europe), so clearly I missed a lot!Whatever your opinions are on street art, all I know that the Space Invader made me smile every time I spotted one of his mosaics. I came across this on one my very last day in Paris and it’s my favorite:
Have you seen Space Invader’s work in Paris or elsewhere? Let me know in the comments below!