Early this past summer, I took a walking tour of the street art in East London, a part of England’s capital city that is a little grittier, a bit more “touchable” than other parts of England’s storied city. The street art community in this part of the city is robust and remarkable, some of it so large that it actually covers a building wall the length of an entire city block.
As we were walking the streets of East London, learning about and admiring the street art scattered throughout this part of town, our guide pointed out a small tile mosaic that depicted Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. He mentioned that this was created by a street artist known as Invader, which I didn’t think much of at the time, and then we moved on with the tour.
A couple days later, a funny thing happened in Brussels, Belgium. I was walking with another writer when she spotted a small tile mosaic of a Space Invader above a doorway. It was a bit curious, as Brussels seemed to me to be quite diplomatic in design but yet a bit quirky around the edges.
Awhile later, we spotted another tile mosaic of a Space Invader … and then another and another. As we walked around the streets of Brussels that day, we admired the historic building fronts and fountains and especially the gigantic pieces of street art that decorate several buildings throughout the city, which is the comic capital of the world. But we always had one eye open for more Space Invaders, and we weren’t disappointed. In all, we counted six variations of Space Invaders around Brussels.
When we left Brussels, we thought we’d left the Space Invaders behind, but as we walked through a street market in Amsterdam, you’ll never believe what caught our attention. That’s right, another Space Invader crouched on the corner of a building.
I did a bit of research on Invader when I had the time, and it turns out that this street artist has been invading cities around the world for many years. He has no social media accounts but he does have a website, and on that website is a map that shows all the places that have been invaded. Now that I know Space Invaders are hidden all over the world, I’m on a mission to find them.