Faile is a Brooklyn-based artist duo: Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, childhood friends and artistic accomplices.
The name FAILE is an anagram of the name of their first project "ALIFE". 'ALIFE' became 'FAILE', this anagram already reflecting the importance of words and games in their text+image approach. At the same time, the negative connotations of 'fail(e)' introduced an element of risk accepted by the duo, preferring spontaneity to perfection.
Since the group's inception in 1999, FAILE has been known for its use of a variety of materials ranging from recycled pallets to canvas stretched over frames or children's cube games and T-shirts. Painting, silkscreening, ceramics, engraving on metal or wood are among the techniques used by FAILE, while at the same time they erase the distinction, seen as too clear-cut or artificial, between fine and applied art.
Their works are characterized by fragmented compositions in which figurative elements encounter purely abstract features, as well as words or statements in finely crafted lettering. These collages, urban or otherwise, attest to the artists' curiosity for an iconography cheerfully oscillating between the 1950s and the contemporary era.
While painting and engraving remain at the centre of their approach, FAILE have perfected techniques over the past decade for developing and nurturing a visual language that undermines the borderline between 'high' and 'low' culture. In the course of their production, critiques of consumerism and in particular of religious intrusions into the media are constant. Likewise, glances at modernity and a taste for micro-fiction are developed in images at times supplemented by short texts.
FAILE has exhibited in several leading international institutions, thus creating a link between the museum institution and spontaneous intervention in the public space. This sometimes means giving their 'street' work a monumental dimension, as when the duo painted gigantic murals on the facades of Tate Modern in 2008 or on ten-storey buildings in Manila or Vienna. With their monumental pinball sculptures, their kaleidoscopic Ferris wheels in Manhattan or their wood-reworking projects, FAILE is constantly exploring new forms of visual expression as well as new ways of intervening.