The now out-of-print East Side Story anthologies feature doo-wop and soul oldies often released as the B-Sides of popular hit records. From the 1970’s to present day, the compilations have been embraced by lowrider culture, and for those who love the records, the albums have served as a soundtrack to love, heartbreak, and desire. The original East Side Story album cover photos depict a proud homeboy with his lowrider, at times shown standing with his lady in her Black Orchid lipstick, and other times posing in the company of his homies.
Collaborating with Bay Area car clubs and the local Latin@ queer community, the artists have thoughtfully reconsidered each cover to reflect a contextual re-imagination of the culture that has often firmly rejected it. In doing so, The Q-Sides photo series has developed a new narrative to complement the ubiquitous East Side Story albums. The Q-Sides are presented as the conceptual flip-side of the B-Sides, where queer homies are shown as proud of their rides, their ladies, and of the company of their jot@ homies.
Filmmaker and performer Vero Majano grew up on the periphery of lowrider culture in San Francisco’s Mission District. Through her use of archival film footage in video production and storytelling, Majano has ensured that Mission District lowrider culture is cemented as part of San Francisco history. Amy Martinez, from Long Beach, California, grew up listening to the East Side Story albums and is now a DJ and avid record collector. DJ Brown Amy co-founded the popular queer soul party Hard French, which centers on new experiences in dancing to oldies. Many members of this Hard French community appear as models in the photographs taken by San Francisco photographer Kari Orvik, who uses the original images as a basis to choreograph these scenes into new visual narratives.
Complementing The Q-Sides photographic series, the documentary film Homeboy by artist and filmmaker Dino Dinco examines the cultural experience of queer Latino gang life through interviews from a varied generation of former LA gang members.
The Q-sides is a grantee of Galería's ReGen Fund—a technical assistance, capacity building, and small grants program serving Latino, Indigenous and Native American Artists. In addition they received support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures’ Fund for the Arts Grant Program, and San Francisco’s Queer Cultural Center.
Recent Media Coverage of "The Q-Sides"