Local Art.
Showcasing local "talent"

Biggleswade's Budding Street Art Scene

February 26th 2003

"Chopper is King Scrawler" (1970's - 1990's?), Chopper, Spray Paint on GraniteBiggleswade doesn't exactly have the kind of bohemian background as say, Camden Town, or Portobello Road, and it may not be home to any serious art houses or galleries, but that does not mean to say that it is totally devoid of artistic endeavour. Located in a back street, beside the main railway bridge is this stunning installation, "Chopper is King Scrawler", by the enigmatic local brushman, Chopper. On viewing the piece, one's gaze is initially drawn to the thick, bright lines and colourful squiggles of the surrounding work (the piece is challengingly unframed and therefore different artists' work bleeds into another). Eventually though, one comes to the coup de grace of this impromptu galleria: Chopper is King Scrawler. This bold statement, coined in late 1970s phrase is a declaration of artistic principle; I challenge you, says the artist, I challenge you to better this work, for I know that you can not. I am King. King Scrawler. Then one is hit by the main enigma of the piece. The O of Chopper has been transformed into a smiley, the icon of late 1980s youth culture. Though the piece is undated (as is the convention with such works), I feel that the smiley face should not necessarily lead us to conclude we have nailed the artist to a particular timeframe. Either the work has later been altered, possibly by the artist himself, possibly by another, unknown person, or he/ she was a visionary, predicting the rise of that most enduring symbol of the acid culture, possibly as early as a whole decade ahead of it's time.

My attention was first brought to Chopper's work in late 1993. Having just relocated from the dourest, most oppressive corner of North London, I was feeling a little homesick for the depravity and more importantly, the street art I had left behind. Imagine my sheer joy then, of literally stumbling across this piece on my first outing to the local hostelry! My heart lept for joy. It has remained a beacon of light for me in my exile from the great Metropolis, and also for local artists aspiring to the greatness of Chopper is King Scrawler.

Location: Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. (2 Trains an hour from London King's Cross).
Exit train station to your right, then proceed left. Galleria is located approx. 100 yds down the alleyway just before the railway bridge.
Viewing Hours: Any time you like mate
Entrance Fee: Free


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Have you discovered local art in your town? Perhaps an outstanding graffiti on a garage wall, or inspiring comments on a lavatory door. Maybe you can identify the mysterious Chopper? Whatever your local art, send it in to us and we'll showcase it here.