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Invader is invading New York with his street-wise, eight-bit mosaics

Written by
Howard Halle

Though it may not have quit the cachet as Banksy's self-proclaimed "residency" in New York two years ago, a planned foray to our fair city by Paris street artist Invader should soon be turning heads with the installation of several of his signature eight-bit mosaics around town. Both the paleo-tech style of his work, and his nom de guerre point to the inspiration for his career: the video game Space Invaders, which was a fixture of arcades during the Reagan Era. 

 Invader, who guards his true identity as jealously as Banksy, is hardly a stranger to New York; over the past 20 years, his mosaics have been a regular sight on walls and lamp posts all over the five boroughs. In fact, Invader boasts of having put up some 3,000 pieces in more than 60 cities around the globe. One of his pieces even made in aboard the International Space Station. Talk about reach!

Invader's latest visit should be mellower than his previous one in 2013, when cops arrested him for mounting a mosaic above the Ernest Sewn clothing shop at the intersection of Orchard and Broome streets on the Lower East Side. This time, Invader put out a call to property owners via Instragram, asking if anyone would be interested in hosting one of his pieces. It worked: Invader newest additions to New York's urban landscape will be completely legit. They'll include a six-foot-tall image of Joey Ramone as well as a portrait of Woody, two local icons to be sure. But Invader's work isn't just in demand on the street. Christies in Hong Kong auctioned off one of his works for $350,000 back in March—which is getting Invader that much closer to Banksy-level recognition.

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