|Foosball table installation with posters by, uh... oh, FAILE!. Photo: Susan Yung|
|But seriously, folks... Night Bender, 2015. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas. Photo: Susan Yung|
In FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds (through October 4), the team takes what could be perceived as cliché emblems of youth culture—arcade games, day-glo colors, muscle cars, skateboards—and combines them deftly in room installations, sculptural environments, and satisfying paintings. The team's work became prominent when a major pastel-hued installation was installed in the Koch Theater mezzanine as part of New York City Ballet's art initiative in 2013. In an eerily similar vein as Wiley's recent saint-like portraits and stained glass windows, FAILE occupies the Brooklyn Museum's rotunda with a chapel-like, decaying edifice sheltering contemporary prayer wheels and a statuary. It's clearly an effective way to acknowledge the past on new terms.
|FAILE's Temple installed in Lisbon. |
Photo: Jonathan Dorado
|In case you forgot whose art you were looking |
at—FAILE. Photo: Jonathan Dorado
If the day-glo arcade, with pinball machines, video games, and foosball tables, becomes too claustrophobic or teen-boy for you, move on to the next room, with its soothing classically-derived sculpture. Take a look at the wall of paintings, with their trompe l'oeuil torn away strips, and layered memories of Americana. And even if the artists obsessively brand everything with the collective's name, like an adolescent's notebook doodles, the serious ways in which it's done have impact—in wrought iron gates, mosaics, tucked away in paintings, or blaring in propaganda style, wall-to-wall posters.
Evoking Roy Lichtenstein...
Photo: Susan Yung
|Releasing tomorrow at Jimmy Jazz|
After seeing the BMA show, try hopping on the subway and strolling down Brooklyn's Fulton Mall to get a similar broad survey of the latest footwear. Just make sure you look at feet on the street in addition to Jimmy Jazz and the numerous other footwear purveyors to take in the full context of fashion.
One final observation on an artist whose influence was felt in both the FAILE and sneaker exhibitions: Roy Lichtenstein, whose primary colors outlined with black can be seen in a pair of Nikes, and the general style of FAILE's paintings, which quote pop culture and cartoon techniques. He might be proud to see the extended reach of his high-low work.