Street Art London: Invader

I had a slightly embarrassing experience a couple of weeks ago. I picked up my sister-in-law from Paddington Station and as we drove through London's East End, I got terribly excited when I saw a couple of Invader pieces. Of course, no one else in the car knew what I was on about so I thought it a very good idea to remedy that situation.  This is a guest post on the incredible Invader by Griff from Street Art London.  Have fun spotting the invader in each photo!

Invader Street Art London

Those of you have seen Exit Through the Gift Shop will be familiar with the work of 'Invader' who featured heavily in Banksy's film. For those who are not so acquainted, Invader, as he is known, is a French street artist who has been invading cities around the World since the 1990's. It all began in Paris in 1998, but since then waves and waves of Invaders have spread rapidly to cities all over the World from Bangkok to New York, Tokyo to Berlin and most recently, this Summer, Sao Paulo. London has not been spared.

Invader Street Art London

Invaders are literally that – homages to the classic Space Invaders arcade game of the 1980s. To create his street art, Invader uses tiles – usually the two by two centimetre glass ceramic ones of the type that you would tile the bottom of a swimming pool with. Thus, classic Invaders are very small and sometimes quite hard to spot given that they are made up of these mosaic tiles. However, Invader has been known to 'go big' on occasion with larger tiles and there are a few such examples lurking in London – most notably at the Truman Brewery's Ely's Yard, just off Brick Lane.

Invader Truman Brewery

Invader's work centres around the increasing surveillance in today's urban environments and society as a whole. Invader seeks to countenance this developing trend by installing his own silent sentinels in cities to monitor its population. Invader doesn't make it easy for us to find him though and always places his Invaders in nooks and crannies, up high and down low – in places that only become obvious once you have discovered them.

Invader Street Art London 3

Invader has visited London on many occasions since his first visit in 1999 and overall has left over 100 Invaders in the city. Many of them are still around today if you know where to look... The images that accompany this post should yield some clues as they are all still riding on the street. There's a particularly high concentration around Soho to get you started.

Invader Street Art London 7

For more street art news, sightings and photographs, you can visit Street Art London and check out their Facebook community.  You can also attend one of their street art tours around east London and experience the works of Invader, Stik, Roa and even Banksy for yourself.

Invader Street Art London 2

Invader Street Art London 5 Invader Street Art London 6

All photographs in this post are copyright of Street Art London.

12 comments on "Street Art London: Invader"
  1. they are lovely!
    i love your captures!
    great article, emm.

    betty xx

    p.s. thanks for your kind words and support.
    it really means a lot to me.

  2. oh wow, how fun to be out and about and spot one of these!! :-))

  3. Il y en a pas mal aussi dans Paris...


  4. I was first introduced to invaders while living in Paris. Now I look out for them, a few have popped up close to where I live. Great post giving the story behind them.

  5. hey ! we have made it a sport finding them in Paris ! great posting

  6. Wonderful! That no 2 looks like walking in to an old movie:-)

  7. Brilliant. I've seen one, but I didn't realise the story behind them :-)

  8. I have seen quite a few in Paris- but only one in London. I will have to keep my eyes peeled (and camera ready) for more!

  9. they are neat and brilliant. thanks for sharing the information.

  10. that is interesting, I love such unexpected pieces of art on the streets, they give some color and some fun to our lifes

  11. What fun! It's like going on a treasure hunt. I wonder are there any in San Francisco. I will have to keep my eyes open for them.

  12. @ Betty: Thank you but those are not my photos!

    @ Li: I know! I often get excited when I spot one of the more hidden pieces.

    @ Pierre: Yes, I heard that the artist is active in Paris too!

    @ Mo: Oh, how nice to spot them in your 'hood!

    @ This is Belgium: Thank you! Have you ever seen any in Belgium?

    @ Spiderdama: isn't it a great shot?

    @ John: I know, it is hard not to appreciate him when you learn more about him.

    @ LonJawn: Definitely - and there are free and paid tours you can take to see them!

    @ Life Ramblings: I agree! And my pleasure.

    @ Ola: I agree - I love Street Art.

    @ Avcr8teur: You must! I know a lot of these artists do move about from city to city.


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