Complex | Art & Design

FAILE | Brooklyn Artists on the Edge

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- We met when we were 14 years old. First

day of high school. Shared our classes

together. Kind of a passion for art all

through high school. And kinda, just continued on 'till today.

Collaborating for so long, we kinda have

a natural instinct with how each other

works, who does what stronger than the

other. But everything's kinda put into the

pot together, we both kinda work on

everything together.

- A lot of the work we do really starts

with image making. And, I think we really

grew up having, uh, an appreciation for

comics and wrestling and pop culture, and

all these kinda things, and that graphic

language that we grew up with is something

that still really inspires us to this day.

And I think through that, it's sort of

developing images that we really find some

narrative in meaning in. And then it kind

of evolves from there into the studio as

these singular images that come together

to start creating a bigger narrative and

juxtaposed to really make a full piece.

- We've always been interested in surface,

whether it's like painting or print-making.

- I think we like material that's really

tactile, and that can age and that can

change over time. So working with those

kinda things, the copper really changes,

the wood, you know, really being able to

push the wood in the surface and work it.

I think those are really important things

too, in the practice.

- When we're creating work for a new show,

you know, always traveling to new places,

like helps really inform the work,

exploring the culture. You just kinda

shuffle through what you can take in, and

like you're like one week or three days

there, and you just grab as much visually

and bring it back to the studio and just

kinda syhpon through it, and see what

comes out of it.

- I do think it's really important to try

to speak to people in a style that they

can connect with, because I think the

images and the paintings and all that mean

something to us, but we really try and

leave it open for the viewer. So if you

can find that connection point in their

culture and in their language and in the

world that they're used to seeing around

them, you have a much better chance of

really making an impact on them. That part

of the process is really important for us,

and we do spend a lot of time trying to

kind of tailor that to each thing in some

way. And then when that builds into the

greater pieces later on, it's kinda fun,

'cause you get this little part of, uh,

show you might've done in China, and then

another one from Lisbon, and that kinda

keeps growing as a part of the language, and I think it shows a time and a place.

- And it's part of our practice, too, it

just helps fuel us, and gives us something

to grab onto, create something new and

tell different stories through different lenses.

Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller are the artists behind FAILE. We interviewed them at their studio in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood.

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