When we talk of Street Art, we inevitably list graffiti, collage, murals, stencils and lastly, mosaic tiling. All these disciplines have several representatives, except for the last one. The only proponent of in situ mosaic tiling, Invader, is by himself a major part of the definition of Street Art. Although no one knows exactly who he is, everybody has already seen his works. He is, with Banksy, the world’s most renowned urban artist. And for those for whom his name will not ring a bell at first, the image of a mosaic that reproduces characters from the Space Invaders video game stuck in the top of a street is very familiar.
However, the artist did not begin with the street. In 1997, Invader created his very first mosaics inspired by image pixelation. For example, by following the encrypted images of Canal+, the TV pay channel, in particular the X-rated films broadcast on the first Saturday of the month, or pixelating existing pictures using IT tools, Invader, accompanied by the painter Jean-Marc Dallanegra, created his first works by gluing squares of ceramic tiles on wooden boards. These boards were not displayed in the street, but were sold on the flea market in Vanves where the visuals were even put on T-shirts. This has a certain charm when we realize that when they are viewed from several meters away, the pixelated images – sometimes pornographic – become perfectly legible. 1997 was therefore a pivot year for Invader. It marked the beginning of his career, but not the beginning of the invasion. This career was first thought up around pixelation, but was mothballed for a while as he worked on the global invasion project. It regained its full force when the artist created RubikCubism in 2005.
The earthling Invader began his invasion in 1998. The Louvre, the Hollywood hill, the walls of Paris, Montpellier (with fellow artist Zevs), and in random order, Aix-en- Provence, Frankfurt, London, Miami, Hong Kong, Rome, New York, Los Angeles and Vienna, the underwater depths of the Bay of Cancun and outer space with the International Space Station. Twenty years on, he has affixed more than 3,000 mosaics worldwide in nearly 70 cities. These mosaics, which have all been archived by the artist, are sometimes noted in maps and Invasion guides, published when Invader carries out a large-scale action in a city. Paris, London, Miami, Los Angeles, Rome and Hong Kong therefore each have their Invasion guide. And Paris can be particularly proud as it can boast of being the only city to which the artist has dedicated two books. Today, more than1,200 mosaics are spread over the capital’s twenty arrondissements.
Galerie LE FEUVRE (then Le Feuvre & Roze) has worked with Invader for a long time now. Between 2010 and 2015, it represented the artist in France. In 2011, the exhibition 1000 was organized to celebrate the 1000th mosaic to be affixed in Paris. The exhibition was held in La Générale building and the gallery, and revealed installations, photographs, Space Waffles, Speed Balls, signposts, Rubik’s Cubes, Alias, etc.Invader made his entire universe accessible to the French public. March 2016. By digging up, in addition to his recent works, these four works dated 1997, Galerie LE FEUVRE (then Le Feuvre & Roze) presented to art lovers, the many fans of Invader and collectors, the beginnings of a career that has already spanned twenty years and adorned walls from all over the world.
The discovery of works dated from 1997 was what triggered this exhibition. In addition to these historic mosaics, Galerie Le Feuvre (then Le Feuvre & Roze) is presenting other significant works in collaboration with its collectors....