“The apex predator has no predators of its own,” says Dominic Young, one-half of Fantich & Young. “Our concept was that they were taking these teeth as trophies to wear as ceremonial attire, like what [Stanley] Kubrick was going on about in 'Eyes Wide Shut.' It’s all about a ceremonial ritual that's contemporary yet primeval.”
"Rituals are essential,” Young says. "They bond societies or civilizations or tribes together. I think we’re becoming even more tribal and ritualistic, if that’s possible. It’s actually getting endorsed rather than fading away."
The Apex Predator line is “for the discerning client with a taste for power and exclusivity” and includes luxury items such as perfume bottles and high-heeled shoes decorated with human teeth and hair.
"Teeth are very primeval," artist Mariana Fantich says. "They're especially relevant for the title of the piece, the embedded concept of an apex predator, something that is on top of the food chain. The teeth go well in a conceptual way, as a concept and in a primeval, animalistic, tooth-and-claw way.
"Teeth are like the tombstones of the body,” Young adds, "like little miniature tombstones. When everything else has decayed, they still remain.”
"We try not to get too polluted,” Young says. "We still see ourselves as outsiders looking in. Through time, we will be more polluted, but at the moment, we’re hanging onto our outside credentials.
“We're like Jamie Reid of the Sex Pistols,” he adds, “signed to EMI but still singing 'God Save the Queen.'"
Barrett Barrera Presents Fantich & Young's Apex Predator | Darwinian Voodoo. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, through Saturday, December 9, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 10, at 221 NW 23rd St., Miami; barrettbarrera.com. Admission is free.