The Threat to Invader’s Art: The Theft of His Street Mosaic Tile Installations

The pixelated street art installations created by the French artist Invader have been invading the world, with over 4000 mosaic tiles now being placed worldwide. However, these unique pieces of art are facing a new threat —theft. Once removed, they are fixed and sold at auction, and these stolen street works lose their authenticity and artistic integrity.

Invader’s mosaic tile artworks, inspired by retro video games, have become iconic symbols of urban art, adorning the walls and buildings of cities worldwide. However, these installations are not simply decorative pieces – they are an integral part of the artist’s vision and the interactive “Flash Invaders” game. Players earn points by photographing the mosaics and logging them into an app, adding an extra layer of engagement and interactivity to the artwork.

Image Copyright Invader

The recent trend of stealing Invader’s street works and selling them at auction is not only concerning but also disrespectful to the artist and the urban art community. When these mosaic tiles are removed from their original locations, they lose their connection to the urban landscape and become nothing more than broken tiles. The auction houses selling these stolen pieces should be held accountable for participating in the unauthorised sale of these artworks, as they are complicit in devaluing the artist’s intent and creative vision.

Image Copyright Invader

Removing these artworks deprives the public of the opportunity to engage with and appreciate them in their intended context. The actions of those seeking to profit from the unauthorised sale of these pieces harm the artist and diminish the experience and enjoyment of urban art for the public.

Image Copyright Invader

Invader posted a comment on his Instagram regarding the thieves in New York.

“For the past few weeks, some guys in New York have been destroying my work by trying to rip it off the walls, probably to resell it. Shame on them!

Street art belongs to the street; and in my case, once ripped from the walls, it is nothing more than broken, unsigned tiles that you could find in any tile store and that will never be authenticated.

Buyers should think twice about what they do, not only are they being duped but they are also depriving other people of enjoying free art on the street.” Invader

Despite these challenges, there is hope on the horizon. Reactivators, a dedicated group of individuals, strive to recreate and restore the stolen artworks. Through their efforts, these reactivated mosaics can continue contributing to the urban landscape and provide opportunities for the public to engage with the art as intended in the ‘Flash Invaders game.

The theft and sale of Invader’s street works from New York City and all over the globe is a disheartening trend that undermines the value of urban art and the artist’s original vision. As supporters of urban art, we must stand against these art pieces’ unauthorised sale and removal, reaffirming our commitment to honouring the artist’s intentions and ensuring the continued enjoyment of these vibrant and interactive mosaics in their urban context.

Image Copyright Invader

Invader has a range of artworks, including street aliases, tiles, screen prints, sculptures, stickers and more, allowing dedicated fans of Invader’s artwork to bring the invasion into their own homes without the need to steal from the streets.



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