Aliens have landed in Gadsden, Alabama! This may sound like the headline from a supermarket tabloid, but it's not. It's just describing street art that has appeared in the town over the past year.
The graffiti depicts 8-bit aliens inspired by the 1978 Atari game Space Invaders, and has appeared in at least five locations in Gadsden.
The style is similar to that of the French street artist known as Invader. Invader's work can be seen in over sixty-five cities worldwide, and is one of the most iconic graffiti signatures in the world. The local artist who imitates Invader's mosaic style began placing his work in Gadsden over a year ago. The aliens have been spotted on a bridge, a vacant building downtown, and even on a street sign.
Gadsden resident Dustin Belyeu says that he is always looking for a new one to pop up. "There are two on [Lookout] Mountain, one on George Wallace Drive, one on Broad Street, and one close to Gadsden City High School on an old gas station," he explains.
As is evidenced by conversations and Facebook posts, it's hard to find anyone with anything negative to say about the invasion. Many area residents seem to find the artwork a cheerful addition to the town rather than a nuisance. "I like them because they aren't grotesque in any way," according to local Emily Thomas. "I think it adds character to our small artsy town."
Rumors abound to the actual identity of the artist, ironically fueled by multiple people clumsily claiming to be responsible via Facebook.
The Gadsden Police Department would like to remind our readers that unauthorized street art is still a serious offense not only in Gadsden, but also most metropolitan areas.
Where will the spunky little aliens land next? One can only wonder...