International Artist Collective
Based in New York
A pioneering force in the global street art movement, Faile refers to the Brooklyn based artist collective. Faile (an anagram of ‘A Life’) was founded in 1999 by Patrick McNeil from Canada and Patrick Miller from the USA.
The work of Faile evolved from a distinctive street art practice involving wheatpasted and stenciled imagery. Inspired by the urban environment, Faile’s art is the result of synchronizing and juxtaposing disparate visual sources. The duo explains, “our process has always resembled this loose and fast critique on society, whether it be literal or figurative. Our image-making has at times been very methodical and researched, other times it's been experimental and dirty. Street art at its roots is ‘punk.’ It set out to critique and comment on a world it felt outside of.”
Works such as, Get Acquainted II, Tear 2, Head and New York Box series (all in 2007) reveal the ongoing influence of Pop Art. While the juxtaposition stenciled cartoon characters, iconic figures and graffiti recalls the post war French Nouveau Réalism movement.
Faile have exhibited in major museum shows across the world. In 2006, they participated in the first major international exhibition of contemporary urban art, Spank the Monkey held at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, UK. In 2008, they were the only group to take part in Banksy’s exhibition Cans and the Tate Modern’s Street Art. As part of the latter exhibition, they were selected to create a huge installation for the exterior of Tate Modern. They created a monumental 240-square-foot (22 m2) image comprised of collage, found images and signage. In 2010 the duo exhibited a full-scale ruined church in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon, Portugal, entitled Temple.
Faile has received many notable commissions from a range of cultural industries. Examples include, clothing lines for Paper Denim, Comme des Garcons, and Pro-Keds; and a mural project for the Shanghai Sculpture Space.
The multidisciplinary and collaborative activities realised by Faile are prolific. In 2012 they installed a 5m fiberglass and steel sculpture in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia entitled, Wolf Within, 2012. In 2013 they were commissioned by the New York City Ballet Company for their current project, Les Ballets de Faile. This two part series sees the creation of two installations produced especially for a series of performances. Faile continue to exhibit internationally in solo and group exhibitions.
Faile have published Prints + Originals (Gestalten, 2010): a comprehensive publication that surveys the career of the legendary collective.