Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and FAILE are just some of the artists bridging the gap between the establishment art world and the grittier creative forces of city streets.
May 30, 2013
When Patrick McNeil was a high school freshman in Arizona, he regularly traded notebook sketches with his friend Patrick Miller. Their subject matter was typical teen angst: underground band logos, alternative superheroes, and other emblems of adolescent escapism. Though they went separate ways to study art in college, McNeil and Miller reunited in New York City by the end of the 1990s, working with a female poster artist from Japan, Aiko Nakagawa. During a short stint in jail for pasting Do-It-Yourself (DIY) screen prints illegally on city walls, the trio came up with a moniker for their work: FAILE.
“We really liked the idea that you could fail to succeed,” says McNeil as a way of explaining the name’s origin. (FAILE is also an anagram of “A Life.”)