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West Seattle murals give Northwest icons star treatment

The "Mother Love Bone" mural on the walls of Easy Street Records was painted by Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament

SEATTLE — For artist Son Duong, the city of Seattle is his studio. Brick walls and signal boxes are the canvases.

"Oh yeah, and I love it!" Son exclaimed.

The whole world is invited to see. A woman walking on the street told him his art makes Seattle "so gorgeous."

"For me it's kinda like a performance. I'm doing it but I'm aware of people watching, so I kinda make it look entertaining for them."

Son most recently worked on a painting for Easy Street Records, "A Seattle landmark. It encompasses everything about the Northwest." He's the latest in a long line of muralists who've rocked these West Seattle walls over the years with 200-300 different works of art.

Son's mural is a recreation of an image that Easy Street owner Matt Vaughn quietly conceived years ago: "In the middle of the night, a friend of mine and I put a Frances Farmer mural on that signal box."

The original painting of the local movie icon went on to become a neighborhood favorite.

"Eventually it got painted over, and then there was public outcry on where it went," Matt said. Now years later and with help from Son, the painting is back.

This isn't the first time Easy Street has resurrected public art. The "Mother Love Bone" mural is based on an original painted by graffiti artist and band member, Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament. Jeff himself contacted Matt, and painted the recreation himself.

Beside it is a giant and colorful mural of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell. Son says that one is his favorite. 

These one-of-a-kind living walls have a lot to say about this part of the world we call home.

"Art is for everybody. Art's beautiful," said Matt.

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