Invader

[
PARIS, FRANCE
]

Of all the international cities...

where Invader had been—London, Barcelona, Berlin, Bangkok, Melbourne, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, the list goes on—it was the artist's first time visiting Miami in 2009. His invitation to the Wynwood Walls provided the perfect opportunity for him to bring his popular space invaders to yet another urban environment. Invader started putting up his tiled art in daring public spaces in his hometown of Paris in 1998, before he expanded the program to cover what is now over forty cities around the world. He documents these visits as "invasions," with photos and maps of where to find each space invader piece.

The choice to work with tiles reflects Invader's interest in computer art and its building block, the pixel. He wanted to create something very Miami for his wall on 2nd Avenue, and he used as his inspiration the cover art for The Cure's Boys Don't Cry album (1980), which shows palm trees, a blue sky, a big yellow sun and a red pyramid. Invader playfully swapped the pyramid for the radiating space invader that you see on the right side of his mosaic. It's not the first time the artist has celebrated references to music in his artwork. "I realized that music was something very inspiring and something very important in my life. I grew up and discovered a lot of different bands and music. I wanted to make a tribute to this music."

Invader was impressed with Wynwood, which he felt was like a natural reserve. "I mean that you can drive there and do a street art safari! I never saw such concentration of street art before." He was also glad to work with Tony Goldman, who he sees as a "mécène" or patron of modern time. And as his characteristic farewell, before leaving Miami, Invader put a last piece on Tony's Park Central Hotel façade. To find one of these space invader characters watching in the streets around you, especially if you can remember the captivating simplicity of the early Atari games, is a true urban delight.