Providence artist Two Thangs shows his pop-culture mashups at AS220

Providence is well known for its vibrant arts scene, from its galleries and museums to the colorful murals on the sides of buildings. One recent transplant is bringing his unique pop-art vision to downtown in a show at AS220.

Matthew Brennan IV, who creates his art under the name Two Thangs, will show his work through March 26 at the exhibit “Voices Speaking Loudly,” the first show at AS220 since the pandemic hit two years ago.

The name Two Thangs comes from Brennan’s mashup concept, which combines two elements of pop culture, whether it’s the TV shows “Bob’s Burgers” and “Twin Peaks,” journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson with a lion, or a snail on a banana. The inspiration comes from conversations he has with folks and what they’d like to see in a work of art.

Artist Matthew Brennan IV, who paints under the name Two Thangs, poses with "A Filthy Day in the Neighborhood," a mashup of director John Waters and Mister Rogers, at a show in Boston.

“Basically, I go to people, or anybody who comes up to me, and I tell them about what I do, and they pick two things from the outside world,’’ he says. “It can be two things that aren’t singularly from a person’s life. It can also be from pop culture or just anything around us.”

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The idea became his full-time occupation about seven years ago, and he says “it’s led to many very interesting places to take my paintings.”

"Golden Docs," a mashup of "The Golden Girls" and "Doctor Who," by artist Two Thangs.

Brennan began his career as Two Thangs in Seattle in 2015, and he moved to Boston in 2018 before establishing himself in Providence a couple of years ago. He says he enjoys how much is happening in such a small area, and how creativity plays a big part in Providence’s culture.

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