Matthew Peet, also known as 'Mistery’ or 'MrE’, is a Sydney based graffiti artist, working primarily in the public domain. He was born in 1971 in Bankstown, Sydney, and became interested in breaking (break dancing) and graffiti in the early 1980s. When the popularity of breaking began to decrease in Australia, he continued to develop his skills in graffiti writing. Although Peet started out spraying illegally as a twelve year old, his motive has always been creative development and expression, rather than defiance of authority. During this early period, his mentor was Casm/Dem2 of the graff (define) crew known as FAB4. Casm/Dem2 was one of the first writers to make a 'piece’ in Sydney. He taught Peet the skills and techniques of graffiti writing. The inspiration for Peet’s works came originally from the book Subway Art as well as the early New York writers, especially Skeme and Doze. Early European writers, such as Mode2 and the Chrome Angelz (both painting in the late 1980s) also provided him with inspiration. Peet progressed into legal graffiti writing, primarily through word of mouth or simply by approaching the owners of walls he wished to spray. Also people would often ask him for his details whilst he was in the act of spraying a wall. Peet is currently part of three graffiti crews, namely: Twenty First Century, DCA and Bounty Hunterz. Claude Rodriguez (Wizdm) and Peet are two members of The Bretheren, one of the longest serving Australian hip hop crews. The Bretheren has performed at numerous festivals, including Hoodwise in Oxford Street, Sydney.
Peet works with aerosol cans and his artworks are generally large in scale, often cover the entire side of a building, and contain elaborate backgrounds, vibrant colours and wildstyle text. They are known for their characters, which have been partly influenced by his drawing of cartoons as a child, and partly by the high level of commissioned artworks that he does, where he uses images rather than words to appeal to a wider public audience. Not only has Peet drawn cartoons for Mad Magazine , but he has also worked as a freelance artist for a number of large companies and organisations, including Coca Cola, Sydney Theatre Company and the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA). Peet has represented Australia in numerous international mural projects in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, United States of America, Germany and New Zealand. He helped to organise the 'Platform 1’ event which took place from 28-29 March 2008 at the Carriageworks performance space in Chippendale, Sydney. It was Sydney’s biggest hip hop festival and featured more than seventy local hip hop performers with specialties in breakdancing, graffiti writing, MCing and DJing. Peet also organised the 'Don’t Ban the Can’ exhibition which was held on 20 September 2008 at Clifton Park, Brunswick, Melbourne, in response to a tightening of anti graffiti laws in Melbourne. The exhibition involved works from over two hundred artists as well as live painting, breakdancing, bands and DJs. From 28 August 2009, Peet was chosen to create artworks for the MAY’s Lane Art Project, an outdoor gallery space in St Peters, Sydney. These works were carried out on five large panels hung in the window spaces along the side of a building in May Lane and remained there for the period of a month. Peet has also completed numerous commissioned works during his time as an active artist. One such artwork is a mural entitled Lest We Forget created for Blacktown RSL in which he used semi photo-realistic images to depict Australian servicemen and women.
Aside from his role as an artist, Peet has also taken on a role as educator and spokesperson for young people. He has used his artistic skills to work with youth all around Sydney, providing graffiti workshops in conjunction with a number of local councils including Warringah, Marrickville, Holroyd, Auburn, and the former South Sydney. Peet has also collaborated with the New South Wales Police on their Crime Stoppers School Campaign, acting as a spokesperson in a number of visits to Sydney schools with the aim of educating the students about the difference between graffiti as vandalism and graffiti as art, as well as informing them on how to become involved in legal graffiti projects. Recognition of his contributions to the youth of Sydney has come in the form of his being awarded the “Young Citizen of the Year” title in 1996 from Marrickville Council. Since 2000 Peet has worked for Warringah Council coordinating their graffiti art projects and conducting weekly aerosol art training sessions for young people. At Casula Powerhouse, Peet plays the role of mentor to young people using the legal walls provided within the centre and conducts legalised aerosol art workshops.