Patrick McNeil (born 1975, Edmonton, Alberta) plus Patrick Miller (born 1976, Minneapolis, Minnesota) equals FAILE (pronounced, “fail,”) a Brooklyn-based collaboration born in 1999.
FAILE, is an anagram for, “A Life,” the name of their first project. FAILE began life as a trio, (originally including Aiko Nakagawa, born 1975, Tokyo), and they focused on dispersing their art on city streets around the world. Their style of wheat-pasted and stenciled work evoked the pulp-cultural and comic book characteristics of sixties pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Richard Hamilton.
The duo employ a diverse range of multimedia including painting and printmaking. In more recent years FAILE has focused on the use of unusual materials and techniques in their work, including wooden boxes, window pallets and a prayer wheel. FAILE also works with traditional media such as canvas, prints, sculptures and stencils.
FAILE have worked in different disciplines; fashion, painting and shoe design, in an effort to make the most of opportunities to work with other talented artists.
FAILE’s work is distinctive for its visual cues and themes, particularly those relating to the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, which is referenced in much of their art from that time onwards.
In 2006 FAILE’s work featured alongside other noted street artists of the day such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey, in an exhibition famously titled, “Spank the Monkey.” This exhibition marked the start of a gradual institutional acceptance of street art. Following that, London’s Tate Modern Museum curated a show called simply "Street Art" which featured FAILE’s work amongst other famous street artists of the time.
Following the global acceptance of street art, FAILE’s work has also been seen at many international galleries and their installations have been commissioned by the likes of the New York City Ballet.