Driving north on I-5 past Ravenna, there's no way you can miss the Bettie Page house. For 10 years, a coy and shirtless Page greeted drivers as a mural on the side of Jessica Baxter's home, until people defaced the mural with gray paint this summer. To replace the artwork, she enlisted the help of local artist Two Thangs, aka Matthew Brennan IV. As it happens, Brennan specializes in pop art paintings of people's two favorite things. Now the side of Baxter's home will display two people: Bettie Page and drag icon Divine. Brennan has been taking Two Thangs commissions for about a year and a half.
What's your neighborhood hangout?
Thankfully, in a couple of weeks it will be the newly reopened Seattle Elks Lodge 92, but until that time I'd say the Victory Lounge.
If you could fix one thang about Seattle with a magic wand, what would it be?
The homelessness issue. I walk through downtown to my studio in the International District/Pioneer Square every day, and there are a lot of people suffering in this city.
Does "two" thangs ever feel limiting? Do you think you'll ever want to rename yourself "Three Thangs" or "Four Thangs"?
The Two Thangs idea is more of a starting point to help people be less intimidated by commissioned artwork. Everyone can come up with two things that make them happy, remind them of places they've been, or just make them laugh... But one time, I had a 10-year-old boy come up to the booth and start coloring in one of my coloring books. He drew underpants on a cat in Cats and Candy and then told me he was starting Three Thangs, but that they'd always be cats, candy, and underpants. I'm planning on him taking over for me when I'm done.