Garage by Claudia Lüthi

I myself have no car. 

But I have friends who have cars.

Whenever I am underway with them in their cars, it is very possible that we end in a garage…

…one of the thousands and thousands of garages that line up alongside the avenues and highways of Lima,

exhibiting their oily black facades and driveways, decorated with motor and oil and tire advertisements, casks, and piles of wires.

Inside they are mostly a huge mess, or what seems to the non-mechanic eye a mess.

A smeary mess of wrecked cars, auto parts and tools, cans and boxes, where every spot and crack, from the office over the workshop up to the toilet is stained with oil and smells of oil.

The garages are mostly run by empiric mechanics that have learned their skills from their fathers, uncles, brothers or cousins and sometimes do true miracles and sometimes, too, manage to ruin your car completely.

I have always had a fascination for these messy, dingy, greasy spectacles offered by the garages across the country… And while waiting for my friend’s car to get repaired, I happily make my way through the disarray with my camera…

Claudia Lüthi is an amateur photographer living in Lima, Peru. View more of Claudia’s work on JPG Magazine in el lente de la coneja or on aamora.

19 thoughts on “Garage by Claudia Lüthi”

  1. I think you’ve expressed the sentiments of most women when it comes to seeing ‘the mechanics garage’…..we need to put things in order, straighten, clean, organize. Yet the disorganization seems to be complete organization for those who work there. Strange folks! Your photos really do tell the story so well.

  2. Congratulations Claudia, a very engaging essay. It conveys a real sense of place – documentary – while also offering some choice abstract constructions – accidental sculpture. Brava!

  3. Claudia, Your form seems a perfect marriage with your content here, as in, opposites attract: clear, concise shots of disarray and messiness. A superb photo essay!

  4. Thank you so much, muchas gracias to all and everybody for your kind comments and critiques and sharing!

    As soon as I have some time, I will upload the images again in a better resolution and take LLorenç’s points in account…

  5. Claudia, I love these photos of messy, dingy, greasy spectacles! You captured the essence of a car mechanic’s workspace. There seems to always be, at least, one poster of a “sexy” woman hanging around. And, your SP in the bathroom is wonderful! Thank you.

  6. I love it Claudia! Your description in words and photos makes me feel oily and hot! I like the self portrait at the end, too.
    Lots of atmosphere, as always, in your work.

  7. Sabes que soy duro. No me lo tengas en cuenta. La dos y la siete hacen flaco favor al excelente trabajo. A veces, no hace falta dar las cosas tan masticadas. Creo que la segunda foto del escarabajo no hacía falta, pues la primera es estupenda y se entiende su entorno. Igual ocurre con la segunda del tipo, en la primera ya explicabas todo cuanto tenías por decir de él.
    Bueno, ahora lo bueno. Sabes que soy fan tuyo. Y si no lo sabes te tiro de las orejas! Tus fotos me atraen brutalmente. Hay en ellas ese regusto que va de amargo a dulzón. No sé, tienes una manera de mirar alrededor que envío bastante, sino mucho.
    Bravo Coneja! Te estrenas en el blog la mar de bien!

  8. This is an excellent example of foto-journalism at its best. Seeing these images & your very perceptive account of this experience personally feels & certainly brings me back to a place in time when life was not always so easy.

    I must thank you for this insight today, as it has awakened in me the desire to push beyond the limits that one was born into… As my father always said, “never become a mechanic or so help me I´ll have to kill you myself “, those words where meant playful yet they are burned deep within….yet perhaps one can´t help but think that one may have been a lot happier of as grease monkey & actually earning a living rather than an artist starving in the streets.


    BTW, I totally relate to this having grown up as a “grease monkey´s” son. That was our tag at the time, its what the kids at school use to call those that clammered around in that oily pit of grease & oil…the funny thing is I learned loads about cars but never desired to have anything to do with them myself. I think now I know why…..I have my reason´s & they are many.

    As a matter of fact I have never owned a motor vehicle for very long, with the exception when my son was born & everyone felt it was necessary that we have one. This phase only lasted a couple of years, thank goodness…I am a much happier person finding my way around on foot, bike or with the numerous public transit chauffeurs around & the occasional rental…I really do like to see the world & things that I otherwise wouldn´t be able to if I had to have driven myself…..

    All the same this is great & thanks 4 the memories Claudia.

    P.S. One thing Claudia is that the images seem highly pixelated (maybe not on everyone screens). Perhaps its just a question of uping the resolution the next time you upload your fotos…thnxs

  9. thoughtful series that I appreciate a lot, loving the intricacies of machinery and cluttered places. Thanks, Claudia. e

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and words, Claudia! Like you, I don’t own a car, and to me, too, garages are very exotic indeed. Great images, which I’d love to see in better resolution some time. Thanks!

  11. I can almost feel the punch as one of my boys would yell “Punch buggy blue.” Ah, but that was many years ago. Thanks for the picture show.

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