Melbourne Central is the major shopping centre of the CBD - hence the name. It houses everything from a Coles to a Hoyts Cinema to the Pancake Parlour. Almost always busy, it is a hive of excitement, and a prime advertising space.
Right now, upon entering from Swanston street and walking down past a few little cafe's and smoothie bars, there is a small exhibit being sponsored by RMIT University. Entitled "Lightscape Projects", these pieces shine a spotlight on local artists who display images on lightboxes, which stand out further on the black painted background.
Though these are not graffiti pieces, they do constitute street art, and this sight is the perfect starting point for a tour exploring local street art and how it is being commercialized.
By planting a stamp of the RMIT logo alongside these pieces, which straddle a path walked by thousands everyday, the university has not only placed its name on some wonderful art, but have also insinuated that if you study with them (at their campus conveniently located across the road), then this is what you will be able to achieve.
This idea of using street art as advertising is not a new one, and it is not included in this tour to take away from the skills of the artists, as each piece is incredible. However, it leads to questions that should always be asked when viewing public art; why was this placed here and who placed it? how does that change what the art/artist is trying to say?