Last night FAILE opened their new show in Vienna at Gallery Hilger NEXT, titled Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom.
“We are very excited to present a new body of work here. Both a personal show in its relation to our families and childhood memories as well as the looseness of painting and the process of making work in the studio.
As many of you know, we enjoy creating new bodies of work through various shows that relate to different themes or concepts. These help us grow as artists, explore new ideas that we’re playing with and push the boundaries of the work as we integrate these ideas and images into our practice.
This show is based at heart around childhood fantasy. From fairy tales, to drag racing stock cars, beauties and beasts, unicorns and jet engines this show explores the many archetypes of our youth. As we see our young children grow we are constantly amazed to see the way they interpret the world and the way the world is interpreted to them. This is especially true as we explore our own sense of myth making and fantasy through making images and creating visual stories that speak to the world of today – both from a current perspective and from the time that we began to be inspired as young kids.
The artworks in this show are varied in medium. Harking back to the exploration of some of our earliest mono-prints with a series of unique works on paper, capturing the freedom and energy of painting and coloring. As well as larger narrative canvas works and assembled wood paintings. There’s even a series of patches that emblematize the many symbols found in FAILE artworks”.
While FAILE’s painting and sculpture have long played with fantastical characters and scenes, the new material that debuts at the Galerie Hilger NEXT delves into the uncanny realm of childhood memory, dreams, and exploration like never before.
Sometimes this is whimsical—many of the works depict familiar scenes of fairy-tales and mythology, re-imagined through FAILE’s system of juxtaposition and inversion. At other times—in the case of magazine-style centerfolds of tricked-out seventies muscle cars—FAILE invoke the near-talismanic objects of adolescent desire. Like the pop-artists that once inspired them, with Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom, FAILE zero-in on an icon of North American freedom during the 20th century, and the rich graphic culture that surrounded it, from uniforms and decals to posters and glossy magazines.
Formally, Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom is both an evolution and a departure from recent sculptural forms and assemblages with wood. Painting has long been at the core of FAILE’s practice, and here they take inspiration from the openness and simplicity of children’s drawings, emphasizing simplified but vibrant colors that underlie their screen-printing. While such an approach was pioneered by the Blue Rider Expressionists and Andy Warhol alike, FAILE’s work on paper adds a delicacy and chromatic intensity to this lineage. Of course, FAILE is well known for reinventing entire genres using their own rogues gallery of characters and typographies, and in Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom, they take on the graphic landscape of the racing world, envisioning “customised” new cars and presenting their logos as most teenagers would have seen them—sexy spreads attached to garage walls, or collectable patches to be sewn to jackets or driver’s gear.
Taken together, Fuel, Fantasy, Freedom’s works on wood, paper, and fabric are some of FAILE’s most personal to date, reflecting on multiple generations of family while creating an uncanny space of innocence and desire, and reveling in the freedom of the studio and the open road. You can see more at Faile’s website