The Rubik Mona Lisa (2005) by French street artist Invader is displayed at ArtCurial in Paris, France, February 3, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
PARIS (Reuters) – A French street artist’s interpretation of the Mona Lisa made of 330 Rubik’s Cubes sold for 480,200 euros ($520,680) on Sunday at a modern art auction in Paris, well above presale estimates of up to 150,000 euros, organizers Artcurial said.
The 2005 artwork by anonymous street artist Invader uses the plastic puzzles’ squares to create a mosaic of the Mona Lisa and her famous smile in garish colors.
The sale coincided with the closure of a blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the nearby Louvre museum, the home of the real Mona Lisa. That show marked the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance master.
Invader is known for his mosaic tile works featuring pixilated versions of the 1978 Space Invaders video game characters, which “invade” cities around the world.
The Rubik Mona Lisa was created in 2005 and is the first in Invader’s “Rubikcubism” series, in which he recreates well-known Old Master works.
Invader, who defines himself as an UFA, an Unidentified Free Artist, wears a mask and insists on his face being pixilated for his rare appearances on camera.
He has a large following of fans who use a Smartphone app, “Flash Invaders”, to snap pictures of his mosaics if they’re authentically his, rack up points and compete with other players.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Giles Elgood