In May 2017, an urban artist got to work in the city of Málaga to create a number of images from the 1980s video game Space Invader. However, instead of using tiny pixels which form crude images on a computer screen, he used coloured tiles to recreate 29 of the iconic images in a much larger form.
The artist, known simply as Invader, placed these images on the walls of buildings in the city, but in many cases did not seek permission from the owners. This resulted in him siting his work on protected property, including 15 in the historic centre of Málaga, which has led to his prosecution for crimes against artistic heritage which could see him jailed for three years. The action was initiated in April last year by Fernando Francés, then director of the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) Málaga and now Secretary General of Culture in the Junta de Andalucía
Little was known about Invader, except that he was born in 1969 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but finally last year, police in France claimed to have identified him. The Málaga court investigating the complaint then asked the French authorities to arrange for Invader to testify by video conference, but three attempts to do this, on January 13, February 15 and March 3 this year, all failed.
Last month, the court asked the French authorities to clarify why Invader has not appeared to testify on these three occasions. Judicial sources say the court wants to know if this could be because of problems with the summons or for another reason.
Invader’s work has been spotted in more than 65 cities throughout over 30 countries since 1990. He refers to each intervention in a city as an “Invasion” and has published books and maps of the location of each of his street mosaics.