Medium – The Bold Italic, August 3, 2020: San Francisco’s Honey Bears: Harmlessly Cute, or Symbols of Gentrification?
Ricky’s abrasive callout over fnnch’s art represents a resistance against the city’s changing demographics. His opposition to fnnch highlights just how significantly gentrified and divided the city has become due to the unbelievably expensive living conditions for so many in San Francisco — a place where the Black population has been cut in half, to less than 6%; where anyone not making a salary over six figures has to flee; and where homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness are constantly swept under the rug by city officials despite the concentration of public and private wealth here. Ricky is calling out how fnnch’s art reflects what San Francisco has given newcomers, versus what San Francisco has taken from longtimers.
To be blunt, San Francisco and the greater Bay Area have become a segregated dystopia for some and a curated destination of boutique art for others. And in Ricky’s opinion, that rift is obvious in how the city and its residents idolize the work of street artists like fnnch.