Faile are an international artist collective comprising Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller and formerly Aiko Nahagowa. Their first project together had the title A Life, of which their name Faile is an anagram. Faile have become legends in the world of street art with their iconic pop culture images which are inspired by comic strips, book covers, fiction novels and even the Yellow Pages. Well known works by Faile include Faile Dog, Faile Bunny Girl, Failey Girl, Bret the Hitman, Forbidden Love, Smoking Silence, Military Love, Sinful Pleasures, Launch Tonight, Save Stilettos and Happy Home.
Faile’s work involves playing around with images and layouts, ‘recycling’ images over and over again making both a social comment on the society that we live in and making ‘icons’ out of throwaway images. Faile emphasise art making over indirect political statements or sloganeering, but their work often contains both passive and overt messages, usually cloaked in ambivalence.
Although Faile’s completed works are iconographically and stylistically distinctive, their process of creation owes much to chance, improvisation, and openness to outside source material. The visual elements of their work is continuously adapted to varied materials, from grocery store signs to wooden boxes and painted ceramics. Although they are not graffiti writers as such, their work originated in the streets, and their studio work bears the stylistic hallmarks of both wheatpasting/stencilling and the vernacular of the global urban environment.
Well known installations by Faile include Lost in Glimmering Shadows which occupied an ambiently-lit circular gallery space in which large-scale prints and paintings surrounded sculptural elements in an interior ring. Faile also collaborated with the artist Bast to produce an installation dubbed Deluxx Fluxx, comprising custom-made operational arcade games and a foosball table. Bedtime Stories comprised of twelve works created from several painted wooden blocks to come together as unified paintings. Faile also created Temple a full-scale church displayed in ruins in Praça dos Restauradores Square in Lisbon, Portugal.
Faile have exhibited widely including solo and group exhibitions in New York, London, Copenhagen, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Zurich, San Francisco, Shanghai and at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts in Newcastle as part of the Spank the Monkey exhibition.
Faile have produced several limited edition books including Orange, Death, Boredom, Lavender and Prints + Originals which surveys their career and explores Faile’s process, influences, and iconography.