Space Invader is easily one of the most unusual street artists working today. His tile mosaics based on 8-bit video games can be found in cities across the globe, but Los Angeles is one of his favorites.
At one point L.A. had more Invader pieces than any other city except one. My guess is that may no longer be the case, since so much f his work has been destroyed or picked away here. Over the past 9 years (He's been working for 10, and first “invaded L.A. in 1999) Invader has installed pieces on each of the letters of the Hollywood sign, around LAX (terminals 1 and 3), Venice, downtown, Los Feliz and beyond.
One of his most recent LA pieces, and one of my favorites, playing off of not only video game nostalgia, but classic Mac love.
Rocket Video on LA Brea. This one has been destroyed. the mosaics are frequently just a few inches square and many are at ground level. So it's tempting to remove them, though dismantled and taken out of context, it just becomes a bunch of used tile… Maybe it's the property owners who are removing them.
Laundry on Sunset in Silver Lake. Large, high up and easily visible. Still there.
Close-up of Sunset and Cahuenga laundry
Know where this one is? It's somewhere on Melrose Ave. I took the picture about a year ago, and I lost the location.
“The Big One: as Invader refers to it in his book Invasion Los Angeles. The book is
way out of print expensive: www.space-invaders.com/shop/index.php . Thanks to Shelley Leopold for letting me borrow her copy.
A lot of tiles have been pulled off, and ugly suit ads are in front of it, but you can still make it out.
From the alley behind Melrose you can still get a pretty good view of this one. This was installed in December 2002.
All photos by Mark Mauer. More after the jump.
A couple of spots that used to have space invaders, according to the book, Invasion LA:
Near the old Soap Plant store and London Boots on Melrose Ave. there was a Shepard Fairey/Invader collaborative mosaic. Gone.
On Martel and Melrose, there was a small one on a bench in this spot. The old bench is gone, replaced by this plastic one, and the Invader is also gone.
There was a small one near the ground at the entrance to Amoeba Records next to the bike racks where the employees hang out and smoke. I spoke to one guy who said he'd worked there for two years and it was gone before he started. I've been going to the store weekly for much longer than that, and I never saw it. My guess is that it didn't last long there.
You can see the spot where an Invader lived on Rudy's barber shop on Sunset. Removed by them or someone else? I don't know. There was on the front of Pink's hot dogs as well, which I am pretty sure is now gone.
Paint-splattered and somewhat camouflaged, this one has managed to survive at the abandoned Sunset Pacific Motel for a few years now.
A classic Shepard Fairey wheatpaste recently appeared on the building as well.
Check out Invader's own website here: www.space-invaders.com/ for updates, maps, and newsletters of his work.