Elusive street artist Swampy shook up San Francisco with his staggering one-night exhibit ‘In My Bedroom’ at the FIFTY24SF gallery in the Lower Haight. It was a mind-boggling event – the front half of the gallery filled with a collection of the freight-hopper’s photographs (yes, you read that right, Swampy spends much of his life traveling the country via train, a highly illegal and dangerous past-time), as well as a few of his original paintings.
But the most brilliant part of the show was the second half. Within the gallery, the artist built a wall, literally – which divided the space in half – and one of the paintings lifted to reveal a large hole. Once on the other side, Swampy’s drawings and random musings covered every aspect of the space, all of the walls and the ceiling. You could buy anything in the room for $60, and he sold EVERY piece. In one corner sat a mattress, one of his traveling coats, a single lamp, a vintage tape player and a handful of mix-tapes. There were also randomly placed relics, such a signed railroad spike, medicine bottles, paint cans – the basic necessities of a drifter. He was at the show, we learned, but chose to remain anonymous due to his illegal activities as a freight-hopper.