The Saturday Shot #18: invaders

This Saturday shot comes a good week late... Just the time for a French national newspaper to reach me after my beloved mother did some press clipping for me.

Last weekend, French street artist Space Invader was the guest editor of Liberation, France's left wing, BoHo national. The anonymous artist who usually invades public spaces with his tiles directly inspired by the eponymous video game ancestor was this time around populating the pages of an ink-smirking paper. It is still a public space, but some may argue it is just a sign that after 12 years of underground work, Invader is now sufficiently mainstream to hit the front page...

Banksy did in the UK, so why not my fellow citizen? Personally I don't care. Art, and street art in particular, needs to be exposed and shared. I did for years with Invader's work, looking like a freak in the streets of Paris, NY or London, twisting my neck at every street corner to see if I could spot a new invasion. I had reached such a point that if I had lived in the US I could have considered suing the artist for the neck pains he caused... But I don't live in that country and in lieu of a court audience, I much prefer the acclamations of a street crowd. Their eyes are much harsher a sentence. Excel and you will be hailed, your art will be exposed, plagiarized, extruded and resold on the Internet... Fail to impress and you will simply ignored, falling into air sprayed oblivion.

Space Invader is de facto recognised, even by my mother and my mother-in-law who every now and then send me a snap of a street corner where they discovered a mosaic. It may have reached the inflexion point when Invader's work has become mainstream, yet that does not compromise his artistic approach. I take that as a sign of maturity.

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

To explore further:

  • Never stopping evolution, a fantastic street art performance turning walls into a cinema screen.
  • An article about underground photographer JR, and his award winning speech at TED on how art can change the world.
  • An article about Space Invader, the mosaic which invades your street and TV adverts: Bunn-invasion.
  • An article about Banksy, the British artist who now sprays gold out of his cans: Spray the world.
  • An article about Banksy, the British artist who now sprays gold out of his cans: Found it, or my photographic deep dive in the streets of London.

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