Most Expensive Faile Art Pieces Depicting the Grandeur of Popular Culture

Artist(s) in Focus, Artwork(s) In Focus, Top Lists, Art Market

December 20, 2015

Collaboration between two Patricks, Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeill started in the late 1990’s and since then, any conversation regarding the relation between popular culture and street art couldn’t pass without mentioning their work. Tackling the issues of consumerism, mass media, the difference between high and low art, the creativity of Faile duo encompassed a variety of styles, techniques and materials. They are best-known for their fragmented style of collages, assemblages and multimedia works that appropriate popular iconography.

Although many of their artistic achievements deal with the subject of modern day consumerism and the critique of consumerist society, the presence of the Faile duo at the art market is increasingly visible in recent years. Their early site-specific works in public spaces gave way to studio works during the last decade and these artworks are quite popular among the collectors. If you want to see how successful the art of Faile is when it comes to auctions, you can check out the history of their auctioned works. In the following paragraphs, we will focus on their 10 most expensive ones, so scroll down and enjoy the list.

Savage World London Stencil, 2007

The artwork Savage World London Stencil, created by Faile in 2007 was their first work that appeared at auction, crushing the estimates and making many art market insiders ponder upon the place of street art in the world of contemporary art market. Mixed media work, executed on a wooden crate, was brought to Sotheby’s auction in 2007 by Steve Lazarides and it achieved a hammer price of $61,100. The piece surpassed the highest estimate for 275%. Beginner’s luck, perhaps.

For more details, see the artwork page!

Studio B Test in Black in Blue No. 3, 2006

Another piece that appeared at the same auction at Sotheby’s and made the headlines was the work Studio B Test in Black in Blue No. 3, created in 2006. Representative for Faile style, the painting achieved even better results than the Savage World London Stencil. The piece was sold for $65,200 220% above the high estimate at Sotheby’s London. After almost a decade, this piece is still among their priciest works, ninth most expensive to be precise. Nevertheless, we have eight more to go.

Check out the auction report here!

New York City 02, 2007

From the recreation of a scene from the Marvel Godzilla series to the portrait of Michel Jackson in the background, this piece brings an eclectic merger of many iconic moments from the popular culture. Ultimately, it is something this duo is best-known for. Entitled New York City 02, this mixed media painting was offered for sale by Sotheby’s London in 2009 and it reached a hammer price of $65,500, which was the exact low estimate.

Click here to see details regarding the piece!


When Faile duo started working on their studio works, most of their artworks followed the collage format of their street art pieces. Later on, their works evolved into narratives that took form of the comic book covers. The piece Agony features a detail that first appeared on Agony and Ecstasy work, carried out in form these imaginary comic book covers. Agony was sold at Sotheby’s London in 2007 for $69,600, surpassing the high estimate by 127%.

To check out the estimates and details on the piece, click here!

Ohne Titel, 2004

The artwork Ohne Titel from 2004 was done in mixed media on steel plate, comprising five parts. This beautiful piece that holds a strong connection to Faile early works inspired by DIY aesthetics was offered for sale at Palais Dorotheum auction house in Vienna in 2008, at the same time when Faile’s works were on view at Tate Modern, as part of gallery's first comprehensive street art show. The piece was sold for $70,900, which was its low estimate.

To see details, click here!

Remember Love, 2006

Playing with different fonts, Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeill, created a painting dubbed Remember Love in 2006. Although we can decipher words like forever, forbidden, remember, and love, some parts of the words seem to be cut off from the painting, making us wonder if there is more to the message than the eye can see. The painting Remember Love was sold in 2008 at Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg London, reaching the hammer price of $75,300, going 27% over the high estimate.

Check out the full auction report!

MJ and Challengers, 2006

This piece brings together emblematic imagery recognizable for Faile’s work. Different prints and stenciled portraits of Michael Jackson are juxtaposed to the repetitive imagery of the Challenger space shuttle. The image of a shuttle which crashed shortly after its launch in 1986, appears in various forms throughout Faile’s work, and it was also one of the first emblems that appeared in duo’s iconography. The painting titled MJ and Challengers went for $75,800 at Christie’s London in 2008.

Check out the estimates and artwork details!

NYC Yellow Pages, 2007

NYC Yellow Pages shows how even the most banal things, such as Yellow Pages adverts can become an inspiration for the works of art. This assemblage reinvents the idea of local business advertisements, by presenting a different line of work. Mixed media work on board, titled NYC Yellow Pages was sold by Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg London in 2008 for $79,800. The artwork achieved only its low estimate, but it still is the third most expensive piece by Faile that was sold at auctions.

For details, check out the artwork page!

There Were No Words, 2006

Faile painting from 2006, brings the familiar imagery of their Agony and Ecstasy work in the background and blood-red inscription that reads There Were No Words There Was Only Faile. Duo has been known for the creation of some ambiguous messages in the past, calling for the participation from the viewers when it comes to the interpretation of the meaning. If we have in mind that the name Faile originated as an anagram of "A Life", maybe that can bring us closer to the meaning of this artwork.

There Were No Words sold for $83,200 at Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg London.

Shanghai 18, 2006

The creativity of Faile duo often relies on the openness to the outside source material. During their frequent travels, they developed a line of work that draws from the variety of international cultural influences. The piece Shanghai 18 comes from the series informed by their journeys to Asia. The painting was created in 2006 and offered for sale by Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg London in 2008. Estimated between $79,800 and $120,000 the piece Shanghai 18 went 42% above the high estimate, reaching the hammer price of $170,000. So far, it is the most expensive work by the Brooklyn-based duo that appeared at auctions.

Click here to see details regarding Shanghai 18!

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