Melbourne Artists' Supplies, Little La Trobe Street

Melbourne Artists’ Supplies, an art supply store hidden in the Little La Trobe Street laneway, is completely decked out in street art. Every surface of the storefront’s exterior is covered in whimsical and geometrical designs, looking far more chaotic than other commissioned/advertisement works (such as the portrait-like works featured in Melbourne Central). What does it mean that an art supplier is featuring street art? It is not specified whether this artwork was commissioned or whether it was done illegally and organically. It seems ironic that an art store would appropriate street art to sell their products, turning artwork into a commodity. This setting makes more sense for commissioned work, though, than a museum such as the NGV, because Melbourne Artists’ Supplies is an independently-owned store whose purpose is to promote artistic endeavors. So, by covering its walls with street art, the store is sending the message that art is good, and the promotion of street art for advertisement seems more harmless in the setting of this hidden, free-standing art supply store.