10 Facts About Invader's Aladdin Sane

Aladdin Sane (pinky) by InvaderAladdin Sane (pinky) © Invader 2014
Celine Fraser

Celine Fraser, Post Sales Manager[email protected]

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When you think of the name David Bowie, chances are you'll think of his iconic lightning strike portrait from his Aladdin Sane album cover. In this series, street artist Invader appropriates Bowie's memorable image and turns him into a Space Invader character.


The series pays homage to David Bowie.

Aladdin Sane (gold) by InvaderAladdin Sane (gold) © Invader 2014

When you think of the name David Bowie, chances are his iconic lightning strike makeup will come to mind. In this series, Invader appropriates perhaps the most infamous image of Bowie, and therefore testifies to his enduring influence on music and art.


The series is based on Bowie's 1973 Aladdin Sane album.

Cover art for David Bowie's 1973 album “Aladdin Sane”.Aladdin Sane (album cover) CC BY-NC 2.0 © David Bowie 1973

In this series, Invader appropriates Bowie's seminal album cover for Aladdin Sane (1973). Captured by Brian Duffy, Bowie's lightning-struck portrait became an integral part of his public persona. It therefore seems only fitting that Invader should represent Bowie in this memorable get-up.


The series pronounces a shared passion for space between Bowie and Invader.

Aladdin Sane (blue) by InvaderAladdin Sane (blue) © Invader 2014

Invader's typical characters, inspired by the iconic Taito video game, reveal the street artist's fascination with space and extraterrestrials. Perhaps Invader decided to represent Bowie because of their shared affinity for life outside of planet Earth. In 2013, Invader managed to send one of his archetypal characters into space with his Art4Space project. As Bowie coincidentally sang in Moonage Daydream, "I'm a space invader".


Invader is inspired by pop culture.

Rubik Kubik, The Shining by InvaderRubik Kubik, The Shining © Invader 2006

Invader's entire oeuvre is inspired by Taito's Space Invaders video game, first released in 1978. Though Invader has often represented the characters from the game, he has also used his pixelated style to represent some of the most popular faces and moments in pop culture. Much like his Rubikcubism series, Aladdin Sane transforms an icon of pop culture into a Space Invader character.


Invader's Aladdin Sane was also pasted as a mosaic in London.

Aladdin Sane (pinky) by InvaderAladdin Sane (pinky) © Invader 2014

Though this series was executed in screenprint, Invader also pasted the Bowie-inspired character in London twice. Located on a street corner and a wall in London, these mosaics speak to the importance of Bowie as a British cultural icon.


Invader represents Bowie's iconic persona in his archetypal Space Invader style.

Home Neptune by InvaderHome Neptune © Invader 2011

The central figure in the Aladdin Sane series is a Space Invader-style ghost, delineated in pixel-like squares. Despite his use of flat blocks of colour, Invader captures Bowie's likeness through his imitation of the lightning strike.


Invader mimics Bowie's eyes in his pixelated style.

Aladdin Sane (orange) by InvaderAladdin Sane (orange) © Invader 2014

Bowie was famed for his differently coloured eyes, caused by a condition called anisocoria. In his pixelated reimagining of Bowie's portrait, Invader captures his contrasting eye colour with two different squares of blue.


The series forms part of Invader's global project.

Invasion Kit 4, Rubik Space by InvaderInvasion Kit 4, Rubik Space © Invader 2004

Invader started his Space Invaders project in 1998, and has been pasting mosaics of his pixelated characters around the world ever since. Though the Aladdin Sane series is executed in screenprint, the works retain Invader's iconic video game-inspired style.


The series reveals the influence of Pop Art on Invader.

Aladdin Sane (yellow) by InvaderAladdin Sane (yellow) © Invader 2014

Though it is not Invader's medium of choice, the Aladdin Sane series was executed by screen-printing. The favoured medium of Andy Warhol, this method heightens the influence of Pop Art on Invader's oevure.


The screenprints are signed with a Space Invader character.

Space One (pink) by InvaderSpace One (pink) © Invader 2013

In the bottom right-hand corner of each of his Aladdin Sane prints, Invader has inscribed their signature with pencil. Unlike a typical typographical signature, Invader's assumes the shape of a Space Invader character with its pixelated arms in the air, in keeping with the theme of their work.

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