Stop 2: Rose Street Artists Market

As the CBD saw a rise in house prices, street artists began moving out of the city. Fitzroy became the new artistic hub. It attracted young artists with its lower rent and abundant space. This set off a chain reaction of artists contributing to street art, producing intriguing and electrifying artwork in a matter of hours or days. Encouraged by this, small bars and cafes started to pop up around the streets. People began rolling in to see this new hip and jazzy suburb. Property prices began to soar, while art galleries, classy cafes and bakeries opened up, staffed by the most charming baristas you could find. This was the story of how a small town grew exponentially, as once-penniless artists were now selling their work for thousands of dollars. This gentrification of the streets led to the commodification of art, which could be one reason why Fitzroy is full of aesthetically controlled murals, with bold, vibrant colours. As you walk along Rose Street, look around on the walls of the parking lots and outside cafes. Most of the graffiti consists of murals with a very pleasing ambience. This could perhaps be reflective of the shift in focus away from the artist’s vision, and toward a visual exterior reflecting what viewers want the art to represent.