The Rubik Dalaï-Lamaby Invader to be auctioned – Artcurial Paris

Good things come in threes, they say.

After breaking two records in 2020, Invader is making his comeback at Artcurial on 5 July in the Urban & Pop Contemporary Art sale. A masterpiece from Invader’s body of work, the Rubik Dalaï-Lama is composed of some 225 Rubik’s Cubes and is estimated to fetch between 300 000 and 400 000 €. It is an ode to the spirituality and philosophy of life inherent in the practice of Buddhism, values that became important to the artist during journeys to Nepal and Bhutan.

PARIS– On 5 July, in the Urban & Pop Contemporary Art sale, Artcurial will offer key pieces of Urban Art by some of the most important artists in this field. Starring in this sale will be the Rubik Dalaï-Lama by Invader, estimated at 300 000 – 400 000 €.

In 2020, the record for Rubik’s Cube works by Invader was broken twice by Artcurial, firstly for the Rubik Mona Lisa, which sold for 480 200 € including premium in February, followed by Rubik Space which made 492 600 € including premium in December. The artist now makes an exciting return to the auction house this month.

In 2004, Invader’s work evolved in a new direction with the birth of « Rubikcubisme », a fusion of Rubik’s Cubes with the 20th century artistic movement cubism. The Rubik’s Cube became the sole medium used to create these works of art.

Rubik Dalaï-Lama, a piece created in 2008, is an ode to the spirituality and the inner journey that Buddhism invites us to take. The Dalai Lama is considered by Buddhists to be the physical reincarnation of the bodhisattva of compassion, presiding over the intentions of the Tibetan people to represent and protect them.

Invader is particularly receptive to Buddhism and is interested by certain aspects including meditation and control of the mind. He has, in fact, taken his art and his Space Invaders to Asian countries that have inspired him, such as Bhutan, where he spent time with monks, Nepal, India and Thailand.

Rubik Dalai-Lama – 2008
Assemblage de 225 Rubik’s Cube
83,80 x 83,80 x 7 cm
Estimation : 300 000 – 400 000 €
©Courtesy: Artcurial- Paris
Invader and « Rubikcubisme »

Fascinated by the infinite possibilities of mosaics and pixels, Invader began exploring a new creative medium for his art in 2004 : the Rubik’s Cube. It was the first time that these magical little 3D puzzles, one of the best-selling toys in the world, had been used to make art. He launched the « Rubikcubisme » movement and « tableaux-objets » as he calls them.

While in this experimentation phase, Invader reinterpreted Mona Lisa by De Vinci: Rubik Mona Lisa,which became the first piece in a new series revisiting some of the most important paintings in the history of art: the « Rubik Master Pieces ». Some of the most striking pieces include Rubik Jacquet in reference to Déjeuner sur l’Herbe by Alain Jacquet, created in 2007 and Rubik Origine (2007), which echoes Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet. Since 2005, there have been numerous exhibitions dedicated to Invader’s Rubik’s Cube works in France.

« Rubikcubisme is close to Op Art. To look at a piece, you need to stand back. From up close, the image is nothing more than a jumble of cubes and colours, and it is only when you move backwards that the face appears. The further you move away from the picture, the clearer is gets. »

Space Invader for Paris Art, 2007.

Rubik Dalai-Lama – 2008
Assemblage de 225 Rubik’s Cube
83,80 x 83,80 x 7 cm
Estimation : 300 000 – 400 000 €
©Courtesy: Artcurial- Paris
The Rubik Dalaï-Lama

This work of art reflects Invader’s interest in the spirituality and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. As Invader explained to ArtAround: « I have always been interested in the spiritual aspect and philosophy of life inherent in Buddhist practice. »

In addition to re-interpreting great masterpieces such as Rubik Mona Lisa and Rubik Origine and his ten favourite album covers in the series Rubik Low Fidelity, Invader also turned his attention to some of the big personalities in the world, « good men » and « bad men » that appear in the collective unconscious, such as the Dalai Lama, the incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The mysterious artist saw his interest in Buddhism grow following a trip to Kathmandu in Nepal where he met with Tibetan refugees. In his Rubik’s Cube portrait, Invader represents Tenzin Gyatso, recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama who became the 14th Dalai Lama on 17 November 1950. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his peaceful campaign to free Tibet and gain China’s recognition of the Tibetan people. Touring around the world, Tenzin Gyatso has acquired an international status and is a respected speaker on a range of religious and secular issues.

The Dalai Lama, incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, on his own trajectory to achieve enlightenment and become a Buddha, has chosen to renounce this journey to help mankind achieve nirvana. He is a lama, in other words a Buddhist sage, whose wisdom is as great as the ocean, or dalai in Mongolian.

Urban & Pop Contemporary Art sale Artcurial

Public viewing:

From Friday 2 to Sunday 4 July 2021


Monday 5 July 2021 – 14.00

Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées

75008 Paris, France


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