Monday, November 30, 2015

Parisian Artist INVADER Hits New York City!

The invasion has begun!  A few weeks ago the Parisian artist Invader hit the streets of New York as many surprised followers awoke to new mosaic tile art pieces beginning on a building on the lower east side.  The next day, more Invaders, then a few more, then another - you get the idea.  For over two weeks these were placed strategically at the highest points on dozens of local buildings to avoid theft, but attempts were still made.
The artist has built a prominent career over nearly two decades, installing works around the world and it's always especially exciting when he adorns New York City.  He planned to put up 30+ new mosaics all ranging in a variety of sizes and themes - many representing a NYC "theme" of prominent New Yorker.  Some smaller pieces you have to look closely for, especially as they are placed up high, others you can see from an airplane, well maybe not - but they're huge.  (See Joey Ramone below placed in Bushwick, Brooklyn.)  To note, most pieces were installed with permission from property owners.
According to the New York Times, "Invader has installed more than 3,000 pieces in more than 60 cities around the world. There is even a map on his website which track some of his travels, and he has released a smartphone app that lets fans accumulate points by shooting photographs of his work."

Why do the vandals try to remove them?  MONEY.  Each piece is worth thousands as his popularity continues to the likes of Shepard Fairey and Banksy.  A small mosaic piece now runs to the likes of $10-50k, a large piece recently sold at Christie's in Hong Kong for $350k.  Many are now guarded by the building surveillances as well.  
Good luck catching him putting these up, most happen in the middle of the night as he seeks to keep his anonymity under wraps.  While most want fame and try desperately, Invaders response is “usually the anonymous want fame, and famous people seek anonymity,” he said. “I have both. I feel free, both inside and outside from the art world.”   

The hunt has been on since day one for many art and street art enthusiasts as New Yorkers are enjoying the pieces Invader left us in a variety of areas throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and one or two in Jersey City.  Below is a sampling... Also note: photographer credit to Ben L. as he shot many of the photos below.  (We collaborated on this post.)  Enjoy the hunt New Yorkers!
You can always find invader here: @invaderwashere on Instagram or on his brilliant blog :  Enjoy the hunt!