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MARS_70, Invader, Marseille, 2020
MARS_70, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Street artist Invader secretly covered Marseille in mosaics this summer

More than 80 of his iconic pixellated aliens have popped up across the French port city

By
Huw Oliver
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If you’ve ever been to Paris, you’ll probably be acquainted with the mosaics of Invader. More than 1,000 of the street artist’s works adorn street corners across the City of Light. Much like the ubiquitous, slightly disconcerting posters of un certain John Hamon, you’ll come across those iconic pixellated aliens pretty much everywhere you turn in the French capital.

In recent years, the anonymous artist’s works have also been popping up on walls in big cities as far-flung as Los Angeles and Hong Kong. But his latest target is much closer to home. Over the summer, in fact, he has secretly installed more than 80 artworks all over the French port city of Marseille, from the historic Old Harbour to the touristy bays of the nearby calanques.

Part of an ambitious new exhibition at the MAMO art centre – which is housed within Le Corbusier’s celebrated Cité Radieuse complex – the artist set up a secret studio on top of the building. Alongside a temporary show, titled ‘Invader Was Here’, he spent a busy two weeks stealthily plastering the city with permanent mosaics of varying shapes and sizes.

Here’s a selection of the most eye-catching ones. Bonus points for anyone who can make out a true footballing legend (and probably Marseille’s most famous son).

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_90, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_39, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_27, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_53, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_43, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_56, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_62, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

Invader-was-here, MAMO, Marseille, 2020MARS_68, Invader, Marseille, 2020. Photograph: Invader

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