Cover image of the review
Melbourne Central murals. Photo: Philip Brophy.

Melbourne Central Commercial Mural Paintings

4 Dec 2021

I’m standing in front of one of the current commercial mural paintings on the Latrobe Street façade of Melbourne Central. It’s a sunny day, and the wall is perfectly lit—the sunlight heightens the mural’s hues and contrast levels, and one can clearly perceive the brushwork’s role in simulating a photo-realist veneer. This mural is an advertisement for the online MMORPG Endwalker – Final Fantasy XIV. Technically, it’s the fourth “expansion pack” in this long running game created and produced by Square Enix in Japan. Executed in acrylic paint, the mural reproduces the handsome and heroic Warrior of Light mid-battle, just as he appears on the cover of the game pack. As is usually the case of PlayStation realist fantasy games, the mural’s originating image bears an identifiable hyper-realism courtesy of the high-end CG air-brushed painterliness which typifies their opening sequences. FF beings like the Warrior of Light are rendered in a visceral meltdown of mimeticism, eroticism and plasticity: he is slick, unreal, post-human. Seeing him effectively de-rendered in wall paint on lightly mottled plastering is disorienting, charming and weirdly intermedial.

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