Adorned with stickers and spray-painted tags, Invader's Scooter is truly the ultimate automobile of the street artist. Used for a large proportion of his artistic career, Invader's scooter became an integral part of his elusive art practice, and is displayed here as a contained work of art in its own right.
The scooter that Invader exhibited at his Wipe Out exhibition was the same scooter that he had used for 15 years of his stealthy career. Working predominantly at night, staying hidden from the authorities in the shadows, Invader's scooter was his getaway vehicle. Though the scooter now sits stationary, it is a relic of Invader's earlier career, and gives an insight into the fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled nature of street art.
Invader's Scooter was unveiled at his 2015 solo exhibition in Hong Kong, titled Wipe Out. The show celebrated the anonymous artist's video-game inspired oeuvre.
Street artists are outlaws by profession, given the illegality of their public vandalism. Like many other street artists, Invader has been allegedly arrested on multiple occasions. The most famed instance was when Invader was arrested in 2010, after re-pasting one of his mosaics on the Hollywood sign in L.A.
In his defacement of his personal motorcycle, Invader imitated one of Tsang Tsou Choi's works, a motorcycle sprayed with Chinese calligraphy. Known as the King of Kowloon, Choi was famed for his calligraphy graffiti across Hong Kong - making Invader's Scooter a thoughtful installation in his Hong Kong exhibition.
Built up with layer upon layer of spray paint and stickers, Invader's Scooter is not dissimilar to a public wall covered with graffiti. The bike mirrors the practice of street art, which is painted over all the time and therefore constantly changing. The work is, essentially, a microcosm of Invader's genre of choice.
Back in 2014, Invader launched his third "invasion" of Hong Kong, pasting his iconic Space Invaders across the city. However, shortly after he completed this Invasion, around 90% of Invader's works were removed from the city, hence the wry title of his exhibition in the city a year later.
Typically, Invader's work is composed of mosaic tiles, which the artist uses to create his pixelated figures. Less frequently, the artist will recreate his pixelated style in print. Scooter is, therefore, quite the anomaly in Invader's oeuvre but gives a glimpse into his lively practice.
Given that his scooter was sprayed by some of the biggest names in street art, Scooter is a testament to Invader's central position in the street art circle. Allegedly, artists would tag and sticker the scooter whenever they went to visit Invader at his Paris studio.
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