In celebration of the release of the book “Old So Kool,” which showcases forgotten graffiti from the 1980s, a group of around 15 street artists legally gathered in Peel Street, Wolverhampton to spray the walls of an underpass. The event, which was authorized by the city council, allowed the artists to create new pieces that pay homage to the clandestine creations of a bygone era. According to publisher Steven O’Hara, the book serves as a reminder of the time when many graffiti artists worked through the night, and the event in Wolverhampton brings some of those memories back to life.
Wolverhampton artist Paul Pilgrim, who collaborated on the book with O’Hara, was instrumental in securing permission for the graffiti jam. Pilgrim himself began creating graffiti in 1985, when the scene was just starting to take off in London and the West Midlands. His 80s Old Skool Graffiti Facebook group, which features photographs contributed by artists who are featured in the book, has generated significant interest and nostalgia among both graffiti artists and non-artists alike.
The creators of the book have been pleasantly surprised by the level of interest it has generated, with 1,000 copies already sold and plans to release an additional 500. Pilgrim believes there are still many unsung artists and forgotten pieces that could be featured in future volumes of the book. As he said, “There’s so much good work out there that, as it is at the moment, I’ve got enough that I could produce another book.” The success of the book and the graffiti jam underscores the changing attitudes toward street art, which has become an integral part of contemporary culture.