Artists Patrick Miller and Patrick McNeil, who produce collaborative work under the name Faile, installed large, customized PRAYER WHEELS on the streets of Brooklyn in late 2009 and 2010. Each wheel is hand carved from merbau wood and mounted on a steel base. The wheels, which are 12 to 14 inches in diameter, are densely carved with commercial icons and painted in vibrant colors. Despite being bolted down and weighing 100 pounds, the first wheel was stolen from the street. Undeterred, Faile installed another one on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.
The wheels are modern-day updates on ancient Buddhist prayer wheels, which were used by the devout to enhance focus during prayer, accumulate wisdom and good karma, and purify negative energy.
Faile often reimagines sacred objects. They also recently overhauled and decorated a crumbling temple on the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, with modern-day phrases and slogans.