FAILE is the name of an artist collaboration that was founded in Brooklyn in 1998/99 and remains active in the field of street art, urban art and public art to this day. The founding members are Aiko Nakagawa, who left FAILE in 2006 and remains active as Lady Aiko, and Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeal, who have been the brains of and behind FAILE since 2006. Their studio is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The name FAILE is an anagram of A-life, their first project together in 1998 on the streets of New York City. Due to the similarity in name to a NYC-based shoe company, they renamed the project FAILE in 1999 and eventually named themselves that.
FAILE is one of the commercially successful representatives of street art/urban art. Through the distribution of their prints, stickers, canvases, stencils, woodwork, etc. on their own website and regular exhibitions starting in 2002 in Europe, North America and Asia, their profile grew; however, they continued to be active on the streets. Their final breakthrough, by their own account, came in 2006 with Spank the Monkey, among others. They were also represented on the facade of the Tate Modern in 2008, alongside Blu, JR and others, as well as at Portugal Arte 10, installed the Wolf Within Sculpture in Ulaanbaatar in 2012, and designed the posters for the New York City Ballet in 2013.
Within their works, FAILE play with ambivalences such as life-death. Recurring motifs within their œuvre include the space shuttle Challenger, the FAILE Dog, the Wolfman, female figures, and various vintage cars. Most of their works are signed FAILE and/or 1986, an allusion to the Challenger crash in 1986.
FAILE describe themselves as Urban Decorators.