Meet San Francisco artist fnnch behind honey bear murals left around city during pandemic

ByKayla Galloway KGO logo
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Meet the mysterious artist leaving honey bears around SF
His face is hidden, but his art is everywhere around San Francisco and the world. Street artist 'Fnnch' gives a rare interview to talk about interpreting his work, his mystique and his future.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- His honey bear murals on boarded up storefronts brought light to some of San Francisco's formerly bustling neighborhoods turned dark during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honey bears donning masks and San Francisco Giants hats and one even shaped like a soap bottle were scattered across the city as the pandemic took its toll in the spring.

The elusive artist behind the fnnch namesake joined ABC7 Friday morning to talk about his work and its impact as the Bay Area once again settles in for a coronavirus surge.

"Part of my work is reassuring you that it's okay to be happy, it's okay to like something," he said.

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His aim was to create art in the once-vibrant parts of the city that had turned quiet.

"These were the areas that were the most bustling, that were the most vibrant, and they were now the most depressing."

He tried to adapt his designs to each specific storefront.

PHOTOS: Coronavirus inspired honey bears pop up on SF's boarded storefronts

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This split image shows "Masked Bears" wheat-pasted by the artist fnnch on San Francisco storefronts amid the novel coronavirus pandemic on April 11, 2020.

His art has not only garnered local attention but also international, selling out in seconds, though his identity still remains a mystery.

"It started pretty simply," he said.

Because of the nature of his street art early in his career, he didn't want his name attached to the work.

Over time, he's found amusement in the anonymity and the expectations people have before they meet him.

"Something about that, that's at least amusing," he told ABC7.

Despite his success growing, fnnch says commercial success isn't exactly tied to artistic skills.

"The art has gotten better over time, but it hasn't gotten that much better, not in proportion to the interest," he said.

Watch the full interview with the San Francisco artist in the media player above.

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