Feature: Space Invader Q & AJuxtapoz // Friday, 12 Oct 2007
Interview by Chris Osburn
How many Space Invader mosaics are in your neighbourhood? Offhand, I can think of five within a minute's walk of my flat and countless more throughout London. Of course, with his brilliantly simple - and often precariously placed - pixelated mosaic tiles adhered to walls in virtually every major city across this planet, it's almost surprising to not happen upon his work. When not invading the cities of the world, Invader spends his time constructing three-dimensional wall mounted pieces out of Rubik Cubes. Impressive.
What's equally impressive is being able to catch Invader's artwork at two separate exhibitions in London. Both shows opened October 4th and run until the second week in November. In Small, Medium and Large, a "major group show of international street artists" at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, his work is featured along side that of Adam Neate, Anthony Lister, Dalek, Delta, Futura, Jose Parla, Mark Dean Veca, Phil Frost, Ron English, Stash, and WK Interact. In the other, Space Invader's Invasion London and Rubik Bad Men II at Lazarides Gallery, the Invader flies solo for the first time in a London exhibition.
With the two London shows running simultaneously and a few more mosaics recently springing up in central London, now seems like an excellent time to ask the artist a few questions about life in the space age.
How's it feel to have your work exhibited at two shows in central London that opened on the same night?
I guess that was a good night for me! Bonus Score x2!
Do you think having your computer game mosaics in galleries takes away from the initial concept behind the works?
No, I don't think so; it is just a different space to be invaded. It is also a way to document my work in the street and create different things like RubikCubist pieces.
When did you come up with your first Rubik Cubism piece? What was it?
For a long time I was interested by this object, and I was thinking it would be good to use them in my art. I started to collect Rubik's Cubes from flea markets or eBay. On the day I got nine of them I did a small sculpture called "RUBIK SPACE ONE" - that was in 2005. I found it great and thought I had to work more in that direction. Then, I started to buy more cubes to make some bigger pieces. One of the last pieces I did is done with more that 600 Rubik's cube stuck all together. The result is awesome; I really love those pieces.
I'm guessing you grew up when Atari was the word in computer gaming. Did you play Space Invaders all the time as a kid? Were you any good?
Yes I used to play Space Invaders, Pac man or Asteroid. That was the golden age of Videogames, and I still love those games which I found much more interesting that those of today.
What do you think about today's computer games?
They are too much hyper realistic with many special effects and 3D but no good concepts behind. They are just copies of the reality.
Were you ever and are you still able to solve Rubik's Cube?
I was not but now I am. I mean I manipulated thousands of Rubik's cubes those last months - that helps!
Is there a city that hasn't been "invaded" that you'd really like to hit?
There is not one, but many. Planet Earth is big ...
See also www.space-invaders.com. Photos from his currently running solo show, Invasion London and Rubik Bad Men II at London's Lazarides Gallery, are online here and here. The show is on exhibit through November 9th.