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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.