FAILE: The "Painted Rip" Effect
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
Black Dog, FAILE
The "Painted Rip" Effect
"Most of our work juxtaposes images. But we’re also interested in the contrasting of ideas and words, pop culture and fine art, attraction and fear, universality and ambiguity. Each piece entails multiple kinds of tension.
"By 2006, we had found our stride in the studio. We expanded our visual language and storytelling through the lure of untold narratives. Elements of comic book covers, advertisements, phonebooks and pages of magazines were added to our vocabulary.
"Applying the effects of our street art to our studio work led to the 'painted rip', a major development in our aesthetic. We began evolving the 'painted rip' in our canvases and then in print making. The process was appealingly organic. Before our eyes, the images we layered took on fresh meanings. Words and visuals were juxtaposed in unexpected ways, intricately weaving together to suggest new narratives.
"The process emphasised serendipity. Icons we'd employed for years took on entirely different dynamics alongside new images. We felt like we were recapturing the spontaneity of our earliest work. The language of FAILE was reinvented." ~ FAILE
Source: "FAILE: Prints and Originals 1999 - 2009", Published by Gestalten, Berlin, 2010
"Savage Dreams (F-Head)" and "Real Life and Yellow Pages" are great examples of the aesthetic achieved using the 'painted rip'.
Medium: Mixed media (acrylic and silkscreen ink) on Archival 140 LB Watercolour Paper, signed by the artist
Edition: Unique (Varied Edition of 5)
Size: 64.0cm x 43.0cm
Medium: Mixed media (acrylic and silkscreen ink) on paper, signed by the artist
Size: 44.0cm x 58.0cm
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.
Strange Encounters, 2007
Arty-Fact: Early in their collaboration, FAILE explored how a minimalistic image can be powerful enough to trigger a collective memory - such as the John F. Kennedy assassination or the attack of the World Trade Center in 2001.
The duo considered their affinity with the Challenger Space Shuttle exploding after take-off in 1986. Both were in grade school and pulled out of class to watch the launch live on television. They witnessed first hand the tragedy that unfolded.
Based on this conversation, FAILE conceived a simple graphic of a falling space shuttle which had been set aflame, and placed the image around the streets of New York together with the symbols “1986” and “51-L.”
FAILE has often used the image of the Challenger Space Shuttle in their work and sign their pieces with ‘1986’ instead of their names.
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.