artnet Asks: Faile

From Brooklyn to Lincoln Center, this duo covers New York in Pop murals.

FAILE, street art mural at Record Plant recording studios on 44th street near 8th Avenue. Photo: courtesy of http://mashkulture.net/.
FAILE, street art mural at Record Plant recording studios on 44th street near 8th Avenue. Photo: courtesy of http://mashkulture.net/.
Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller of FAILE in front of their "Tower of FAILE", a part of their collaboration with the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Center, "Les Ballets de FAILE" in 2013. Photo: courtesy of arrestedmotion.com.

Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller of FAILE in front of their Tower of FAILE, a part of their collaboration with the New York City Ballet at the Lincoln Center, “Les Ballets de FAILE” in 2013.
Photo courtesy of arrestedmotion.com.

Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller met as teenagers in Arizona. Although they parted ways in 1996, when McNeil went on to New York and Miller remained in art school in Minneapolis, the two reconnected in New York and formed the artistic collaboration Faile in 1999. Together, McNeil and Miller work in many media—from installations and works on canvas to the more unconventional window pallets and on wooden boxes—appropriating fragments of nostalgia and pop culture into varied degrees of collage. Playing off of 1980s Pop traditions, Faile blurs the boundaries of street and fine art and mass culture. Along with exhibiting internationally, Miller and McNeil have made a name for Faile with their site-specific installations at Praça dis Restauradores Square in Lisbon for the Portugal Arte 10 Festival, and in the five-story atrium space of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet, among others.

When did you know you wanted to be an
Patrick Miller: As long as I can remember, but I didn’t know what kind of artist. I’m not sure I’ve decided yet.

Patrick McNeil: When I was in grade 4. It was the first time I remember looking at a drawing I did that I was pleased with and thinking about how much I would need to sell my art for to live doing it for the rest of my life.

FAILE, street art mural at Record Plant recording studios on 44th street near 8th Avenue. Photo: courtesy of http://mashkulture.net/.

FAILE, street art mural at Record Plant recording studios on 44th Street near 8th Avenue.
Photo courtesy of http://mashkulture.net/.

What inspires you?
Miller: NYC, my kids, our studio, and many of our contemporaries.

McNeil: Many things, from family, artists I know, the city, books. It’s all around and comes from places your would never expect.

FAILE, Mermaid, edition 150 (2007) Screen print 27.5 x 39 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist and Opus Art LTD.

FAILE, Mermaid, edition 150 (2007)
Screenprint 27.5 x 39 in.
Photo courtesy of the artist and Opus Art LTD.

If you could own any work of modern or contemporary art, what would it be?
Miller: I really like George Condo and Neo Rauch. A nice painting of theirs would probably do.

McNeil: Any of the large Basquiat/Warhol collaborations.

FAILE, Gender Bender, edition 10 (2012) Acrylic and screen print 38 x 25 in. Photo: courtesy of the artist and Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.

FAILE, Gender Bender, edition 10 (2012)
Acrylic and screen print 38 x 25 in.
Photo: courtesy of the artist and Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art.

What are you working on at the moment?
Miller: A show to go along with the release of our new book, FAILE: Works on Wood.

McNeil: Staying light, positive, and optimistic about what’s to come.

When not making art, what do you like to do?
Miller: Hangout with the family, read, or rock climb. Only one of those ever really happens.

McNeil: When I’m not making art, I like to mess around in the garden.


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