Mariana Fantich is an artist who was born and raised in the Ukraine. Dominic Young is an English artist and musician. They have been working collaboratively since 2008 under the name Fantich & Young and are based in London. The duo uses existing objects to construct new objects in which they often employ manipulation and symbolism.
One striking example of their work is their ‘Apex Predator | Darwinian Voodoo’ project, which was inspired by the financial crisis of 2008. According to Fantich & Young, ‘Apex Predator’ is a predator that, through being at the top of the food chain, has no natural enemies. The collection is a reconnaissance of this concept in its relation to social evolution in the modern world. Luxury consumer goods are used as the basis for installations and objects to which the duo then adds ritualistic artefacts such as teeth, bones and hair. The project represents the banking industry and its ability to dodge repercussions for criminal acts.
‘We know Jan Jansen for his fearless and creative approach to shoe design, Jan Jansen produced many iconic and unforgettable shoes. It was great collaborating with Jan Jansen on his wonderful Linea Erotica shoes, they had a spirit of Hollywood Babylon running right through them.’
These objects strongly question Darwin's theory of the ‘survival of the fittest’, when society is confronted not only with the functional inability of financial banks but also with the fact that those responsible escape unharmed or with a mere slap on the wrist - or so the duo feels. These financial players are placed at the top of the food chain, where they face no threat whatsoever – or might even be linked to the supernatural.
The collection consists of shoes, accessories, masks and clothing that are all laced with thousands of teeth. The teeth are from China and the bones were formerly used to support medical research. To quote Fantich & Young: Sorry to disappoint all you dancers of the macabre but the teeth are dentures. Art lies to tell the truth.
In their work and approach, Fantich & Young demonstrate that they possess the qualities to fuse art, design and fashion.