10 Invader Art Mosaics Which Captivated the Art World (and the Art Auction Market)
Invader is definitely among the most respected street artists in the world. His unique pixelated mosaics inspired by the iconic Space Invaders arcade game can be seen all across the globe. The artist started to “invade” public spaces with his 8-bit characters in the late nineties and by 2011, a thousand of his pieces were on public display from Paris to Kathmandu. The number is over three times bigger as we speak. Dedication and originality have brought him an army of fans over the years. The French artist is best-known for his tile mosaics of famous video game and cartoon characters situated in public spaces, but he also creates a line of studio works, as part of his Rubikcubism project and also hobby-level products dedicated to his fans.
During the last decade, the interest in Invader’s work grew immensely and not only in the community of street art enthusiasts and among the fans of retro gaming. Art collectors are pretty interested in is works as well, and there isn’t an urban art auction that can pass without bidders chasing his mini-mosaics. In the following paragraphs, we will see Invader’s most expensive artworks that sold at auctions, but if you’re interested in seeing how Invader’s art is trending on the art market we encourage you to check out the complete history of Invader’s auctioned pieces.
Alias SD-20, 2010
Although Invader’s preferred method of work is to hit the streets and cement his tiles to the walls, his pixelated aliens are also created for gallery display. The artist calls his gallery series Aliases and they feature replicas of the public pieces. Aliases also come with a certificate detailing the location of the original. Alias SD-20, replica of the work originally executed on the streets of San Diego, was sold at Artcurial (Briest, Poulain, F. Tajan) auction house in Paris for $17,600 and it was a great result if we have in mind that the high estimate was $6,830.
Check out the complete auction analysis for this piece!
Runing Around, 2010
Executed on a brick, the artwork titled Runing Around features another of Invader’s signature characters and we could argue that it captures the spirit of street art more than his Plexiglas works, as it brings a piece of the wall and materializes the atmosphere of the urban environment. The low estimate for the piece at Artcurial (Briest, Poulain, F. Tajan) auction in 2011 was only $704 and the piece achieved a hammer price of $21,100, 2,897% above the low estimate. Now that’s an expensive brick!
You can find details on the artwork here!
L'origine du monde, 2006
The next piece belongs to Invader’s Rubikcubism project which encompasses a variety of scenes and motifs from popular culture and art history. L’origine du monde is Invader’s interpretation of the legendary work by Gustave Courbet from 1866 and it belongs to his Rubik’s cube Masterpieces series. The pixelated image is certainly not explicit as the original one, but if we have in mind that it is done with only six colors, then the results are more than impressive. The piece was offered for sale at Pierre Berge Brussels in 2011 reaching a hammer price of $25,700.
Click here to check out the estimates and additional data!
Apple Space, 2009
This mosaic, created on the wooden panel in 2009, is entitled Apple Space, referring to two motifs that were successfully brought together in a single simple image. Space invader, the iconic character from 8-bit Atari game is executed in a manner reminiscent of the old rainbow Apple logo design. The design was introduced when Apple II, 8-bit home computer series appeared, which were praised for their color graphics possibilities. The artwork Apple Space was sold at Artcurial (Briest, Poulain, F. Tajan) Paris in 2013 for $26,600, 33% over the high estimate.
If we think about the span of Invader’s career and an overwhelming number of artworks he has created so far, it is fascinating how the artist manages to always stay innovative while working with the same simple subject. There aren’t two Space Invaders that are completely alike, and even if they show up in pairs like in this artwork titled Duo, they will have some individual features. Created with ceramic tiles on board the piece Duo first appeared at Bonhams auction in London in 2008, achieving a hammer price of $27,600. In 2013, it failed to sell at Artcurial (Briest, Poulain, F. Tajan) Paris.
Alias MIA_47, 2012
Here is another replica of Invader’s street works, one of many which we’ll see until the end of our list. Created in 2012, the piece titled Alias MIA_47 achieved a very good result at Philips New York auction this September 2015. This amiable character was created with ceramic tiles on panel and it managed to fetch $32,000, surpassing the high estimate by 167%. At one moment Invader stated that Space Invaders was the most addictive game he has ever played, and it looks like those hours of gaming did pay off in the end.
Click here for more info on the piece!
White Phantom Eat Em 1, 2003
Along with Space Invaders, Pac-Man is one of the most popular arcade games ever and it is the second most popular game in Invader’s oeuvre as well. The piece White Phantom Eat Em 1 features a familiar character we all know well, cause we’ve all been running away from these fellas at one point in our childhood. This particular piece has an interesting auction history, as it appeared at auction houses three times since 2008. In 2015, it was sold for $36,130 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
Alias NY-145, 2014
In today’s world filled with nostalgia buffs, retro artworks like this one truly have the power to captivate the viewers. Similar to the piece Apple Space, we’ve seen previously, the artwork Alias NY-145 merges two phenomena from the 1980’s computer culture. The artwork featuring colorful Apple logo design and a little white alien also appeared at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in 2015, achieving a hammer price of $58,100, going 29% over the high estimate.
Read more about the piece right here!
Alias HK-58, 2014
Now this is an interesting piece. The life-size mosaic of famous cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey is a replica of the street art piece Invader created during his Hong Kong invasion in 2014. With 48 artworks planted on the walls, it is no wonder why the artist commented that it was one of the most accomplished invasions in his career. Unfortunately, the city officials took many of them down, along with Hong Kong Phooey. Nonetheless, the replica was there, and it sold for $206,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
Click here for the details!
Alias HK-59, 2014
And now the piece you’ve all been waiting for – the most expensive one. Well, as you might have guessed, it is another artwork inspired by Space Invaders series. After all, it is a theme the artist has been obsessively and successfully exploring for years and we couldn’t imagine Invader’s work without his perfectly modeled pixelated aliens. Titled Alias HK-59, the mosaic is a large replica of the piece he created in Hong Kong in 2014. The artwork was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong in March 2015 for $283,300, 22% above the high estimate.