FAILE (Pronounced “fail”) is a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil (born 1975, Edmonton, Alberta) and Patrick Miller (born 1976, Minneapolis, Minnesota). Since its inception in 1999, FAILE has been known for a wide ranging multimedia practice recognizable for its explorations of duality through a fragmented style of appropriation and collage.
While painting and printmaking remain central to their approach, over the past decade FAILE has adapted its signature mass culture-driven iconography to vast array of materials and techniques, from wooden boxes and window pallets to more traditional canvas, prints, sculptures, stencils, installation, and prayer wheels.
FAILE, like many of their contemporaries in the street art community, emphasize art making over indirect political statements or sloganeering, but their work often contains both passive and overt messages, usually cloaked in ambivalence.
While there is not an explicitly partisan or anti-capitalist edge to this type of work, it is structurally a political act in its flouting of laws, embrace of punk-rock and hip-hop aesthetics, and function as a means of populist or direct to the masses expression. There also exists in graffiti and street art a deeper anti-establishment trend in its attempt to beautify and reclaim the urban environment, and blur the line between the elite art gallery systems and the “outside” world of the streets.
FAILE argues that, “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.”
For the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar patio wall, Patrick McNeil and BÄST painted a salon of imagery with different narratives, stories and themes all interwoven for the viewer to explore. FAILE’s images are a selection of their work mostly from 2010–2011. In the background of the wall, painted in bright blue with rollers, the letters spell BAILE to mark the collaboration. Patrick comments, “For us it wasn’t too over-thought. It’s just more about getting together, having some fun in a legal spot, and not having the stress of doing it on the street.”