Born in 1958 in Southern California, as an only child to self-employed parents, John Petrey spent many afternoons watching television and movies portraying perfect people, in perfect families, living in a perfect society. These shows had a profound impact on his career path. He pursued a career in advertising design, receiving an A.S. Degree in Graphic Design from Mt. San Jacinto College, followed by a B.S. Degree from Brooks Institute in Commercial Photography.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, he gained national recognition winning numerous awards, as a photographer in the area of food, celebrities and advertising. Any spare time he enjoyed was dedicated to creating art, building art furniture, and restoring vintage motorcycles. In 2003, Petrey closed his photo studio to pursue his passion for sculpture and began creating several diverse bodies of work. Petrey's art is included in both private and corporate collections and has been shown in galleries and exhibitions throughout North America.