We're excited to announce our first collaboration with street and mural artist fnnch. fnnch creates street art and murals using multi-layered stencils and spray paint. He calls his work “contemporary pop art”, depicting objects from both nature and everyday life. Over time his work has gained a strong following on social media and has been featured by The New York Times, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle.
His public art can be found in San Francisco, LA, New York, Miami, Chicago, St. Louis, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong, and his fine art can be found in private collections in 48 states and 20 countries.
This is a big one for me. Something I’ve been working on since 2020 and thinking about for years before. It is my first art toy. It is also my first fully 3D Honey Bear. An edition of 400 will be released today, Wednesday Apr 13th at 8pm EST/5pm PST on a new website fnnch.toys. Each will be accompanied by a signed and numbered mini-print. More details below!
Art toys, for those who aren’t familiar, are democratized sculpture. Sometimes they’re called “collectible figures”, “designer toys” or “limited edition toys”. This movement started in the 90s when artists realized they could use the production capabilities of toy manufacturers to create small runs of sculptures. Famous examples include Dunny from Kidrobot, Be@rbrick from MediCom, and Companion from KAWS, though many artists have produced them, including Ron English and Takashi Murakami.
One of the primary goals of my art practice is to bring art to the 95% of people who don’t go to art museums. One way I do this is by offering affordable paintings from editions. And one way I do that is by leveraging techniques and technologies from prototyping to bring down the cost of making those paintings. Art toys are spiritually similar. Sculpture is generally even more expensive than paintings, and art toys make these, if not cheap, significantly more affordable.
The main challenge in producing an art toy is interfacing with the manufacturing world. These are not things I can produce in my own studio, and they require expertise I do not possess. So while I had thought about making one, done some research, and even (unsuccessfully) reached out to a few producers, I was still hesitant to jump in and figure it out all from scratch. Enter Bottleneck Gallery. One of its founders, Joe Bouganim, reached out to me at the end of 2020 about producing a collectible toy, he had significant experience with them, we hit it off, and we got to work.
Another challenge, at least for me, was turning my 2D depiction of a Honey Bear into a 3D one. One might think that, because I based my drawing on a 3D object, that it would be easy to return it to 3D. That was not the case. It took over a year of iterations to get something that “reads” like my Honey Bear.
Honey Bear is 8.3" tall, paint on solid cast resin, and from an edition of 400. Each toy comes with a mini-print that is 4”x 6”, archival pigment on archival cotton rag, and signed and numbered from an edition of 400. They will be $150 / each. They will ship in 1-2 months.
Honey Bear is intended to stand wherever one might put a sculpture, such as a desk, bookshelf or display case.
Again, as mentioned above, this is being offered on fnnch.toys. It’s on a new website so I can collaborate more effectively with the Bottleneck Gallery, who will be shipping out the pieces from their location in Brooklyn, NY.
Honey Bear will be available Wednesday (4/13) at 8PM EST/5PM PST exclusively on fnnch.toys.
Honey Bear by fnnch
8.3 inch solid cast resin figure
Limited edition of 400
Includes a signed and hand-numbered 4 x 6 inch mini print
Estimated to ship in 6 - 8 weeks
Available on fnnch.toys (4/13) @ 8PM EST/5PM PST