Decriminalize Your Street Art: Honey Bears Take Over SoMa in Protest

Fnnch is using honey bears to call attention to decreasing street art.

One of 450 honey bears put up by fnnch in a campaign to decriminalize street art (Photo courtesy of fnnch)

In a push to decriminalize street art, street artist fnnch zip-tied 450 honey bears to poles in SoMa on Sunday night.

Fnnch — a known for his flamingos, ladybugs and turtles — is using what he calls “sign bombing” to start a petition to reduce punishment for street art stickers from misdemeanors to infractions. The Care2 petition is aimed at the Board of Supervisors and has more than 10,000 signatures. 

The honey bears come with varying accessories like a pink pussy hat popularized by the Women’s March, Batman’s cowl, a BART police cap, or a gold chain paired with a fedora. Locals and commuters can find the honey bears on light and utility poles in a quadrilateral bounded by, Market, Harrison, Stuart and Fifth streets. 

(Photo courtesy of fnnch)

Fnnch says that he avoids going to jail by attaching them with zip-ties or tape instead of adhesives. Plus, street art brings art to people who aren’t interested or can’t afford museums like SFMOMA.

By fnnch’s observations, neighborhoods like the Mission have so many murals and stickers because it’s cheaper to provide an outlet for street art rather than scrubbing aimless graffiti. But New York serves as an example of a gentrifying city that also means santizing street art — like when its famed “U.N. of graffiti” space 5Pointz was demolished.

“It’s natural to ‘clean up’ a neighborhood, but people don’t think about the cost of that,” fnnch says. “The death of sticker art is a multi-faceted thing.”

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