MUNICH, GERMANY- A Berlin taxi driver’s black and white photographs of women flashing their bare breasts in the back seat of his cab are being displayed at a local art gallery.
According to NBC News, Hans-Jürgen Watzlawek believes that he is capturing a unique form of art with his photographs.
“It’s not about eroticism or sex, but about the breast as a female attribute,” Watzlawek told NBC News.
Berlin’s art scene is known for it’s hip and cutting edge exhibitions and assorted galleries. There is always new twists on modern art to be found in Europe’s self-proclaimed art capital.
Watzlawek explains that his “art” all started abou 4 years ago when one of his regular customers on his night shift told him that she thought she was pregnant because her boobs had grown.
After saying that he didn’t believe her, she lifted her shirt and exposed her bare breasts. Being an amateur photographer, Watzlawek asked if he could take a snapshot with a camera that he had on hand and she agreed.
Watzlawek explains that being a cab driver can be quite entertaining, saying:
“The cabin of a taxi has a certain intimacy, it’s like in a confessional box,” Watzlawek said. “Passengers often share their stories – especially during journeys at night.”
Over the last 4 years, Watzlawek has taken 50 photographs of topless women, none of which have had their faces photgraphed in the pictures.
“The project lives on anonymity; no woman I have asked has ever complained of sexism,” he said.
All of the women, that have posed for his pictures, had given their complete consent to do so. Watzlawek has also said that none of the women were intoxicated at the time. About half of the women, volunarily posed for his pictures after he told them that he hoped to run a an exhibition some day.
“I was surprised myself, but they told me that I seem trustworthy – maybe you could even call me a lady whisperer,” he said.
The owner of the gallery, Zoltan Labas, said the show, “Flash Berlin 0.1”, has been well-received, but admits it has been a little controversial.
“Of course, it’s a provocation and it touches the border between art and non-art,” he said.
“While the breasts are in the center of the pictures, the backgrounds tell the stories,” Labas added. “You see the clothes and posture of the women, or who else is sitting in the cab – at times it’s the boyfriend or husband.”
The 68-year-old cab driver has spent decades working nights as a taxi cab driver and baker. Watzlawek never thought he would do anything like this.
“I didn’t think I could become an up-and-coming artist at my old age,” he said.