An artist does not usually sit down and make a list of every aspect that they embody as a painter, graphic designer, sculptor, dancer, or whatever craft they choose to practice. It is, however, quite common for an artist to sit back and think about what they would like to achieve and what kind of mark they would like to leave on the world. Space Invader, a video game obsessed street-artist, is doing just that and he wonâ€™t stop until he has put his digital creatures in select places around the world. When asked what his favorite game was, he responded, â€œGoing in a city with tiles and cement and invading it. This is the most addictive game I have ever played.â€
Itâ€™s not hard to forget playing your favorite video game from back in the day. The original Nintendo and SEGA were more than what parents would describe as a waste of time. Playing video games was and still is for some so much more than a childhood fad. Itâ€™s an opportunity to delve into a digital planet of oddly shaped and colored good guys. Video games are a quest to smash evil villains and become familiar with quirky noises and catchy theme songs. Games are the main inspiration behind Space Invaderâ€™s art and global invasions. Through using Rubikâ€™s cubes and mosaic tiles, Space Invader displays his individuality and brings that imaginary world to real life. Why someone would use such things to create a simple portrait, Space Invader doesnâ€™t even know himself: â€œI guess that was my way to be an artist; itâ€™s linked to my personality.â€
Although Space Invader claims to have graduated from a professional tiling school on planet Mars, most would have an easier time digesting the fact that he studied art and cinema right here on earth. After spending time at an actual university, he went on to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Even if he didnâ€™t have it planned at the time, his tiling would pave a multi-colored road that would take him much further than a land known for bread and wine.
Doing art was something that Space Invader always liked to do, but the manner in which everything came together wasnâ€™t exactly foreshadowed at that point in time. He started out using ordinary materials such as simple paint and canvas, but the gamer inside him helped to create something else: â€œThat was in Paris at the end of the â€˜90s. That was a kind of an accident because I was not involved in graffiti or street art. It was just an idea which came to me, because at this time I was doing some canvas made with mosaic tiles in a digital aesthetic. I realized that the mosaic tiles were a perfect medium to be put on walls and outside in the streets.â€
As a youngster he wasnâ€™t exactly pushed to do art of any sort. Before he let his creativity run wild, he was engulfed in the types of things that tend to hinder your mind and make you do the opposite of becoming a distinct artist. Space Invader wasnâ€™t your typical athlete nor was he a dream child: â€œI just remember that I hated practicing sports; I was more sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I grew up in a suburb of Paris. I was interested in Punk music. I didn’t know what else to do, and like anybody else, I had to find something to do in my life.â€ After he was hit with the idea to create with mosaic tiles, he began to take a chance and experiment with other materials. Some, when viewed alone, are a bit questionable as to how they could transform into art: â€œI use a Rubik’s cube like a painter uses paint. They are my color palettes, and by twisting hundreds of them, I create a canvas. I like this idea because it is totally unexpected but the result is awesome.â€
One thing that is surely unexpected is his attacks on random cities. By painting video game creatures in popular places like New York to Los Angeles to Belgium, Tokyo, and Australia, he invades those places, infiltrating his style into the minds of anyone who sees it: â€œI don’t expect anything special from onlookers. I like the idea that there are as many reactions as onlookers.â€ Where he will strike next is his secret: â€œI never tell the name of the next city. I can say that I [have] never been in South America. I really have to go there one of these days.â€
As for now, Space Invader isnâ€™t too concerned about showing in fancy exhibitions. Heâ€™s on a mission to personally put his mark where at least one person will see it: â€œEach time I put a new piece in the street, it is like a memorable exhibit.â€ Even if word-of-mouth doesnâ€™t travel across continental borders, Space Invader has plans to solve that problem by spreading the word himself.