Pixel Power: Invader in Los Angeles

"Into the White Cube" is on view at Over the Influence through Dec. 30, 2018

Wall of aliases by Invader at "Into the White Cube" | Photo by Daniel Djang
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The man who would be Invader is a citizen of the world. He began orchestrating his mosaic invasions in his home city of Paris in 1998, experimenting with a very unorthodox form of street art – tiles. His very first piece in Los Angeles, LA_001 was placed inconspicuously on a curb in front of Pink’s Hot Dogs in 1999.

Opening night at "Into the White Cube"
Opening night at "Into the White Cube" | Photo courtesy of Over the Influence

Since then, he has “invaded” L.A. ten times, placing art on every letter of the Hollywood Sign, and as of this post, has over 200 pieces hiding in plain sight. Despite being an important part of 2011’s Art in the Streets at MOCA and most recently L.A.’s incarnation of the Beyond the Streets survey, Invader has just opened his first solo show here in L.A. in 13 years at Over the Influence Gallery in the Arts District. Into the White Cube is now on view through Dec. 30, 2018.

Save the Invaders

Angel Wings Invader (LA_192) at World Impact Inc
Angel Wings Invader (LA_192) at World Impact Inc | Instagram by @phortin

We rounded up a few of our favorite Invader works for you to find - only promise us they will be left alone. Even the newest pieces have already been lost to the ages – or in this case, poachers. Invader engineers each piece to crumble when someone tries to remove it and encourages you to make your own. Sometimes he’ll release a Home Invasion “Kit” on his website or if you’re industrious enough, do a tile run at Home Depot. All his materials are commercial and easy to find.

Reactivated Macintosh Invader (LA_134) at Beverly Auto Body
Reactivated Macintosh Invader (LA_134) at Beverly Auto Body | Instagram by @sdgates

Evidenced by a few hardcore fans that made a point to “reactivate” some of the older works – the Macintosh Invader (LA_134) at Beverly Auto Body, originally created in 2006, had seen better days until someone repaired it and recently brought it back to life.

Start your Invader safari with his app, “Flash Invaders” which allows you to snap your elusive find and earn points - not just in L.A., but around the world. There have been 3,706  works of art and yes, there is someone who’s found over 2,200 of them.

Maneki Neko (LA_181) in Little Tokyo
Maneki Neko (LA_181) in Little Tokyo | Photo by Daniel Djang
Toy Soldier (LA_180) in the DTLA Toy District
Toy Soldier (LA_180) in the DTLA Toy District | Instagram by @halopigg
Invader Was Here (LA_176) in Thai Town
Invader Was Here (LA_176) in Thai Town | Instagram by @impermanent_art

Los Angeles ❤ Invader

Invader Film Strip (LA_173) in Los Feliz
Invader Film Strip (LA_173) in Los Feliz | Photo by Shelley Leopold

Los Angeles is the first U.S. city he invaded and continues to have the most of his work outside his home in Paris. It makes sense as he seems to be quite a film buff, referencing classic and cult movies in his work. The Shining, EraserheadThe Big Lebowski and the Terminator (with a reflective eyepiece) have all appeared as invasions.

The Dude (LA_186) by Invader at Shatto 39 Lanes
The Dude (LA_186) at Shatto 39 Lanes | Instagram by @invaderwashere
Eraserhead (LA_209) at Liquor Water & Ice
Eraserhead (LA_209) at Liquor Water & Ice | Instagram by @speeed147

You can see him in action on film as part of Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop and the short documentary about the first time he tried to send an invader to space, "ART4SPACE". On the second attempt, a little guy named “SPACE TWO” hitched a ride with the International Space Station (with the help of the European Space Agency) in 2015.

Wall of aliases by Invader at "Into the White Cube"
Wall of aliases by Invader at "Into the White Cube" | Photo by Daniel Djang

Invader is nothing if not meticulous and records the longitude and latitude of every mosaic. There is one copy of each piece created, with this information etched in the back. These “aliases” are seen in his gallery shows and sought after by collectors. His latest book, Invasion Los Angeles 2.1 is a retrospective of all his works to date – see which ones you can still find.

Avocado Invader (LA_202) at PWNshop
Avocado Invader (LA_202) at PWNshop | Instagram by @invaderwashere