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Test your street art IQ: Invader lands in L.A. Can you find him?

Test your street art IQ: Invader lands in L.A. Can you find him?
One of Invader's street art mosaics, installed this past May, hiding in plain sight. Can you guess where? He won't say. ... (Over the Influence gallery)

Prepare for the invasion.

The anonymous French street artist known as “Invader” has landed in L.A. — again — and he’s armed with a bucket of cement.

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Since 1999, Invader has made nine trips to L.A. (this is his 10th), each time installing his colorful mosaics featuring pixilated versions of the Space Invader video game character on the facades of restaurants, car washes, bowling alleys — even the Hollywood sign. About half of the 200 works he’s installed here over the decades are still up citywide.

This past May, Invader announced his presence in the city with an alien mosaic in the downtown exhibition “Beyond the Streets.” He installed 28 other works around town during that trip, but won’t say where exactly — that’s for his fans to figure out.

On Saturday, Over the Influence gallery downtown will debut a new solo show of Invader’s work, which includes canvas paintings. But Invader won't be at the opening, he says. For starters, there’s that pesky anonymity thing. And: there are new invasions to be had!

Download his Smartphone app “Flash Invaders” (it’s free), snap photos of the works in the streets, and rack up points if the mosaics are, authentically, his. Which is more difficult than it seems. In recent years, some fans have begun replicating, and replacing, works of his on the streets with the help of “Invasion Kits” that the artist sells on his website.

But the playful “hide and seek” process is more the point, Invader says. “Like finding a treasure,” he told The Times in a recent interview. “I just want to put something in the landscape that people can smile about it,” he said. “It’s something positive. My goal is to produce art for everybody in the city and create some beautiful things.”

Here are nine of his installations from the May invasion, which included the Silver Lake, downtown, Little Tokyo and Santa Monica neighborhoods. He won’t verify locations, but the photos should provide ample clues. …

“I just want to put something in the landscape that people can smile about it,” Invader says. “It’s something positive."
“I just want to put something in the landscape that people can smile about it,” Invader says. “It’s something positive." (Over the Influence gallery)
Invader tries to adapt his street works to the culture of the city. His The Dude mosaic, from the film "The Big Lebowski," is an example of "the perfect piece, in the perfect spot," he says.
Invader tries to adapt his street works to the culture of the city. His The Dude mosaic, from the film "The Big Lebowski," is an example of "the perfect piece, in the perfect spot," he says. (Over the Influence gallery)
Invader had made nine previous trips to L.A. and has put up 200 pieces "hiding in plain sight" since 1999. About half of them are still up.
Invader had made nine previous trips to L.A. and has put up 200 pieces "hiding in plain sight" since 1999. About half of them are still up. (Over the Influence gallery)
In recent years, some fans have begun replicating, and replacing, works of Invader's on the streets with the help of “Invasion Kits” that the artist sells on his website.
In recent years, some fans have begun replicating, and replacing, works of Invader's on the streets with the help of “Invasion Kits” that the artist sells on his website. (Over the Influence gallery)
Invader might spend six months planning an invasion, which includes designing graphics, sometimes pre-assembling patches of tiles if it’s a large or complicated piece, and studying Google Street View to hone in on potential locations.
Invader might spend six months planning an invasion, which includes designing graphics, sometimes pre-assembling patches of tiles if it’s a large or complicated piece, and studying Google Street View to hone in on potential locations. (Over the Influence gallery)
About his anonymity, Invader says: “First it was for security. Then it became a way of life. It’s interesting. I can go to my own openings and listen to what people are saying. It’s like being a spy.”
About his anonymity, Invader says: “First it was for security. Then it became a way of life. It’s interesting. I can go to my own openings and listen to what people are saying. It’s like being a spy.” (Over the Influence gallery)
Invader's own parents in France think he works as a bathroom tiler. “I don’t tell them because I think they will speak to all of their friends and the mystery won’t last,” he says.
Invader's own parents in France think he works as a bathroom tiler. “I don’t tell them because I think they will speak to all of their friends and the mystery won’t last,” he says. (Over the Influence gallery)
Download Invader's Smartphone app “Flash Invaders” (it’s free), snap photos of the works in the streets and rack up points if the mosaics are authentically his.
Download Invader's Smartphone app “Flash Invaders” (it’s free), snap photos of the works in the streets and rack up points if the mosaics are authentically his. (Over the Influence gallery)
“Anybody can enjoy my work in the street, from the president to homeless people," Invader says. "My art has more visitors in the subways of New York than the Louvre.”
“Anybody can enjoy my work in the street, from the president to homeless people," Invader says. "My art has more visitors in the subways of New York than the Louvre.” (Over the Influence gallery)
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