If you check out Galería de la Raza right now, you’ll see a photographic collection of beautiful people and beautiful rides. But there’s a layered history to each of the photos. “The Q-Sides” is a photo exhibit that recreates album covers of the classic soul and do0-wop anthologies East-Side Stories and combines it with images celebrating the queer community.
The show opens tonight and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Galería on 24th Street near Bryant, you will also see many of the rides and models there.
First released in 1987, the East Side Story collections consisted of twelve volumes of classic oldies dedicated to and inspired by the lowrider and homeboy culture of LA’s Eastside. Each LP had an iconic cover image of lowriders and the people who rode them. In the Q-Sides, collaborators Vero Majano, DJ Brown Amy, and Kari Orvik recreated the album cover photos using models from San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. The result is an inventive and stylish set of images that work in many ways – evoking nostalgia for the lowrider culture of the 1970s while simultaneously subverting it and offering viewers a different narrative. The photos also capture a kind of family portrait of San Francisco’s existing queer Latino community.
We spoke to Amy, Vero and Kari on air last week on BFF.fm, and got so excited that we ran past the end of the show. Here’s an edited version in which the artists give us glimpses of some of their personal connections to the cultures and communities explored in the Q-Sides: