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  Faile  (1975/1976 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: urban painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
FAILE (Pronounced "fail") is a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil (b. 1975, Edmonton, CA) and Patrick Miller (b. 1976, Minneapolis, MN).  Since its inception in 1999, FAILE has attained global recognition for their pioneering use of wheatpasting  and stenciling in the increasingly established arena of street art, and for their explorations of duality through a fragmented style of appropriation and collage.  During this time, FAILE adapted its signature mass culture-driven iconography  to a wide array of media, from wooden boxes and window pallets to more traditional canvas, prints, sculptures, stencils, multimedia installation, and prayer wheels.  While FAILE's work is constructed from found visual imagery, and blurs the line between “high” and “low” culture, recent exhibitions demonstrate a sustained emphasis on audience participation, a sharpened critique of consumerism, and the incorporation of religious media and architecture into their work.

McNeil and Miller met during their youth in Arizona.  Separated in 1996 when Miller remained in art school in Minneapolis and McNeil continued to New York, by the end of the decade, the duo reconnected and, with the addition of then filmmaker Aiko Nakagawa (b. 1975, Tokyo, JP), A Life was conceived. During the ensuing years McNeil, Miller, and Nakagawa solidified both their omnivorous style of pop-cultural collage, and changed their name to FAILE (an anagram of A Life).  Nakagawa left FAILE in 2006, while McNeil and Miller continued on to increased commercial and institutional success.

FAILE produced several books in limited edition, including, by 2004, Orange, Death, Boredom, and Lavender.

From 27 September 2006 to 7 January 2007, independent curator Pedro Alonszo's Spank the Monkey ran at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK.  The exhibition brought together twenty two internationally-recognized street artists and investigated street art’s growing artistic quality and popular appeal (particularly in the United Kingdom) and its rootedness in the realms of graphic design and global youth culture. The exhibition included celebrated “fine artists” such as Barry McGee, Takashi Murakami, and Ryan McGinness alongside noted graffiti, street, and design artists such as Os Gemeos, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and FAILE.  Spank the Monkey was the first exhibition of its kind, and followed closely behind the commercial success of Fairey’s Obey line, and Banksy’s Barely Legal sale of his own work in Los Angeles.

The exhibition, which positioned works both inside the gallery and throughout Newcastle, received favorable reviews.  Speaking of the show, critic Guy Bird noted that “when the gallery takes the art seriously, avoiding condescension, or over-glamorization, and the artists avoid ‘sell-out’ accusations by keeping control of their message...the results can be spectacular.”  Spank the Monkey marked both the gradual institutional acceptance of street art, and FAILE’s regular display in high-profile fine-art institutions.  Indeed, FAILE used the venue to display some of their most somber work to date, in a series of twelve paintings titled War Profitees, that incorporated harrowing photographs, newspaper text, and a dark color palette to bring to life the tragic 2006 Lebanon War, which killed 1,500 people, most of whom were civilians.  The invocation of political violence, and references to Israel and Hezbollah indicated an intensification of FAILE's work, and demonstrated how their technique could be brought to bear on the precarious global order of the twenty-first century.  The integration of form and content in the work, and sustained, critical attention to a political theme evident in FAILE's Spank the Monkey contribution was a harbinger of things to come.

Solo Exhibitions:
The Room NYC, New York, NY (2005)
Faile Prints, Fifty24, Portland, OR (2006)
Nothing Lasts Forever, 201 Chrystie Street, New York, NY (2007)
From Brooklyn with Love, Lazarides Gallery, London, UK (2007)
Lost in Glimmering Shadows, Lilian Baylis School-Lazarides Gallery, London, UK (2008)
Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York (2009-2010)

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2002  The Big Group Show, M3Projects, New York, NY
Faile Presents Boredom Project, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Surface 2 Air, Paris, France
Dragon Bar, London, UK
Max Fish Gallery, New York, NY
Gas Experiment, Tokyo, Japan
Supersonic & Alien, Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome, Italy

2003  Battle Graphics, McCaig-Welles, New York, NY
Secret Party, Bob's, New York, NY
Hasta Pronto, Centre Cultural Es Jonquet, Majorca, Spain
Back Jumps Live Issue, Bethanien Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
Jungle LP Show, Rocket Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Broken Sunshine (curated by FAILE), Firehouse 87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
Fancy Faile and Bast, Neurotitam Haus Schwarzenberg, Berlin, Germany
Transplant Gallery, New York, NY
M3projects, New York, NY

2004  Weiden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Espai Pupu, Barcelona, Spain
Lab 101, Los Angeles, CA
Break Beat Science Showroom, Tokyo, Japan
X-Girl, New York, NY
Les Complices, Zurich, Switzerland
One Eye Space, Los Angeles, CA
 Lavender, Transplant Gallery, New York, NY
Mural, Diesel Store, Austin, TX
 Pictures on Walls, Diesel Denim Gallery, New York, NY

2005  Untitled, Fifty24SF, San Francisco, CA
Ridiculousnessofitallshow, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Design Edge, IdN, Singapore, Singapore
Denver Show, Andenken Gallery, Denver, CO
The Pony Show, New York, NY
ROJO Golden, Stay Gold Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
ROJO Golden, Urbis Artium Gallery, San Francisco, CA
The First LA Weekly Biennial, Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Supreme Trading N8 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2006  Spank the Monkey, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts,, Newcastle-Gateshead, UK
Tiger Translate, Shanghai Sculpture Space, Shanghai, China
Animalia, Irvine Contemporary, Washington DC
Mural Commision, Weiden+Kennedy, Portland, OR
Wall Snatchers, Washington Project for the Arts, Washington DC
 Swish, Lazarides Gallery, London, UK

2007  The Burning House (Faile, Dave Ellis, and Swoon), Museum Hetdomein, Sittard, Netherlands
The Burning House (Faile, Dave Ellis, and Swoon), New Image Art, Netherlands, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008  Poster Resistance 2, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Street Art, Tate Modern, London, UK
Outsiders, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK
Outsiders, Houston and Bowery, Lazarides, New York, NY

2010  FAILE & BÄST, Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, Allen Street, New York, New York; Greek Street, London, United Kingdom
Source:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faile

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