Turning Junk Furniture Into Sidewalk Living Rooms
Brooklyn-based photographer Justin Bettman has been creating open-air living rooms on the streets of New York, alongside set designer Gözde Eker — using only abandoned or donated furnishings.
Set In The Street is a collection of interior portraits with scenes built from domestic cast-offs, set amidst the urban environment. Sidewalks sharing space with lampshades in a log-cabin lounge; art-deco bathrooms beside housing projects; Bettman’s second-hand indoor scenes have been invading city-spaces everywhere. Rather than dismantle each installation once his camera has captured the set, Bettman leaves them, to capture the public’s imagination.
The hashtag #setinthestreet has since bloomed into an Instagram craze, with passers-by and pedestrians invited to freely take in and snap the scenes with their own lens. What started as the artist’s affordable alternative to studio space rental for a photo project has grown into a viral sensation. Set In the Street has even acted as the backdrop to a Valentine’s Day proposal!
Bettman’s pursuit of affordable artistry has breathed new life into old heirlooms and perhaps unknowingly comments on issues both social and environmental. Are they collectively a statement for or against privacy in an age of instantaneous communication? Or do they promote reusability against refuse and pass comment on fashions and shortening product life-cycles?