Weekend Distance Activity: Find the Space Invaders (or what’s left of them)

The Space Invader guy that was mounted to the northeast corner of 166 Duane (on the southwest corner of Duane and Hudson) was stolen late last year, but there are still two left (though the veracity of one is in question): Reade and Greenwich and Hudson and Worth. Makes for a nice short circuit that could end in lunch or a beer at Puffy’s or The Hideaway, just saying.

I was only initiated to Invader’s work last summer, when Sonia Stock’s guest post of Where in Tribeca? included the critter on Reade. A reader explained then that the one on Duane and Hudson had been recently restored, so the folks at 166 Duane, who told me they miss theirs, are back to square one yet again. (Look how pretty that corner is without the sidewalk bridge…) Invader does sell “space invader kits” at his online store for do-it-yourself restorations, but the site seems to be down at the moment.

The city now has 219 space invaders, for a total score of 6760. There are 3866 worldwide, in 79 cities. Of course Paris has the most at 1442, for a total score of 38,810. (Invader scores each installation between 10 and 100, and then adds those up.)

And here’s Invader’s own description of himself and his work: “I define myself as an UFA, an Unidentified Free Artist. I chose Invader as my pseudonym and I always appear behind a mask. As such, I can visit my own exhibitions without any visitors knowing who I really am even if I stand a few steps away from them. Since 1998, I have developed a large scale project, code name: Space Invaders. It is first of all about liberating Art from its usual alienators that museums or institutions can be. But it is also about freeing the Space Invaders from their video games TV screens and to bring them in our physical world.”



  1. I am a fan of space invader and take photos of these pieces whenever I see them. Today (7/15/20 around 2:30pm), I saw a woman and a man in their 20s, stealing the green one in the middle (between Worth and Hudson Street). I ask the woman why taking it out and she said because it’s worth thousands of dollars. I told her I am a fan and they belong to the streets… and the man was filming me with his phone and the woman said “Well, I don’t know how rich you are…. but you will be able to see this in a museum few years later”. I had to walk away feeling sad.I hope these thieves learn to appreciate street arts someday.

  2. yes, a lot of invaders are restored by enthusiasts as just getting some tiles is rather easy.

    anyone in possession of a legit street piece, say one that was taken down within hours of invader putting it up, is still pretty worthless. real collectors will not buy them as they are so easily forged.

    invader does create one additional piece for each street, they are called “aliases” and come with an official certificate of authenticity. These are the pieces that now fetch between 20 and 500k at auction depending on the image and size. the most rabid buyers are in asia as invader continues to set personal auction records in hong kong. this audience would never buy a street stolen piece, they are worthless( and usually very hard to get down intact)