About the Street Artist Called Old Master
Old Master was a street artist who worked in and around Bristol from 2011 – 2014. Less that 3 years of work resulted in epic murals that displayed a dazzling craftsmanship that borrowed heavily from baroque and renaissance motifs.
Dan Petley stopped producing work as Old Master when he lost the use of his right index finger to arthritis in 2014, making work with a spray-can not impossible but difficult and less enjoyable.
He developed the concept of Old Master when he taught himself to use spray paint as a way of coming to terms with the death of a close friend. The work was rendered purely in spray-paint, with no under or over painting in any other medium. Stemming from his passionate interest in the revolutionary stylistic developments of baroque painting, Old Master’s work had a timeless quality that reconciled relationships between art practices of the past and present.
By reframing and reconceptualising the inherent ceremonial and ritualistic aspects of religious imagery in the public arena, his works alluded to edifying relics. These explorations satirised ongoing relationships with our own inherited perceptions of immortality in art, drawing links between corrupt hierarchies and the idolisation of artists.
Communicating by means of a personal iconographic system steeped in mythology and timeless ideals while acknowledging the uncomfortable relationship between graffiti and commodity fetishism, his powerful depictions of figures frozen in a moment of heightened emotional tension invited spectators to question the process of street art creation.
Dan still produces public art under his ‘real name’ and formed the Brick Project CIC in 2019 as a response to the disproportionate relationship between landowners and street artists in Bristol. If you have any questions about Old Master please direct them to this site. He will always be proud of the work he produced as Old Master.