History of the Flappy Bird

I’m sure some will find this a little controversial, and that’s fine I get it, but I hope others will appreciate how cool this is as a project. PA_1089 (some sources list it as PA_1088) was created in 2014 by @Invaderweshare on the wall of La Boetie Hotel in Paris. Over time the tiles started to dislodge and fall from the wall, mostly due to constant maintenance needed below the mosaic.

Broken Tiles on Flappy Bird - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com
Flappy Bird fell into such disrepair that eventually the remaining tiles were broken down and disposed of, as the risk of dislodged tiles falling became hazards to pedestrians. The downfall of Flappy Bird appears to be, for the most part, due to the wall space under the work being used for advertisement posters that required constant removal.
Replacing broken tiles  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com

Bringing Flappy Bird Back to Life

Near the end of Flappy Bird’s life, the individual that gave me the tiles observed one of the cleaners leaning his ladder against the mosaic. And as usual, the ladder was dislodging the tiles. Once the cleaner finished, he tidied up and discarded the tiles and several years later the tiles made their way to me. I have been meaning to restore Flappy Bird for a while now, and COVID 19 provided the perfect opportunity.

White Tiles  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com

Tracking Down Materials

To be honest, the hunt to replace the missing brandless manufacturer’s tiles nearly killed the project. Suffice to say that I now know a hell of a lot more about tile manufacturers than anyone ever should. Ultimately I had to have the tiles redesigned, and find a manufacturer willing to create new molds and accept a large enough sample order.

Paint for Flappy Bird  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com
Drop cloth for painting  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com

Painting the tiles was also a little trickier than expected. I used Dulux to color match, luckily I have at least one tile of each color. The light yellow, black and white worked best, but I may need to redo the dark yellow and red tiles. Once painted the final step was to return the original tiles to their correct location within the mosaic. I plan for Flappy Bird PA_1089_2.0 to fly again in the not too distant future, far away from its original location in Gloucestershire England.

Finished Painted Tiles  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com

Overall Feeling for the Project

So, how do I feel about the project? Well, I loved it, I found it quite exciting trying to track down the tiles, from reviewing endless footage and photos where @Invaderweshare tile boxes are visible, trying to identify a manufacturer, to using archive.org to filter through now removed Invader posts where tile manufactures are discussed.

Flappy Touch Up  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com
On the negative side, my biggest concern initially was being comfortable that Flappy Bird hadn’t been stolen and had died of natural causes, which I am to a reasonable enough extent. However, as a lover of street art I continue to wonder about the following: Is it okay to restore street art that is no longer in its intended location/ not gifted by the artist? Is a restored Invader still an Invader/does it matter?

Restored to Original Beauty

At the end of the day, I found the restoration project enthralling and a welcomed break during this crappy COVID 19 period. In many ways, it left me feeling as I would imagine it must do for those that find some long-abandoned vintage car in a barn and restore it to its original beauty.

Finished Product  - The Story of the Flappy Bird Redo - StreetArtChat.com

Thank you to Milau Lutumba for sharing this story of street art restoration.  Check out their bio below and follow them on Instagram to see more of their photos.

Check out another Invader piece of art in this guest post