BACK TO BACK: Backyard to Boulevard

Stig De Block

2018 - Ongoing

BACK TO BACK shines a light at the lowrider culture in Los Angeles CA. that originated in the late 50’s and began to flourish during the 60’s. The introduction of a hydro pump system originally used on aircraft technology, now introduced on older, lowered cars allowed the owners to adjust the suspension by hitting the switches. In a later stage this evolved to the more extreme body movement we know today as hopping. The highly anticipated social event on Whittier blvd in East LA expressed the new generation of Mexicans, also referred to as Chicanos, refusal to be Americanized.

For the first time and in contrast with their parents, these young men and women made their journeys by car, rapidly expanding their world with a bold assertion of freedom. Soon a lowriding culture manifested nation wide with a high concentration in Western and South Western states in the USA.

Within a few years this culture was adapted and developed among Afro-Americans, establishing itself into funk music and early stages of RnB and hip hop culture through leading figures claiming this lifestyle.

Today the lowriding continues under a numerous denominators with the most popular one “Sunday Fun Day”. A self-explanatory title that reflects this community in its purest form. The car clubs play an important social role for the community. They are active in reducing gang violence by providing a color neutral zone for rival gang members to interact without prejudice and talk out old feuds and new friendships are made. As well as raising breast cancer awareness and maybe the most important providing a safe zone for the kids where their daydreams become partly reality.

A good drive out of the city of LA, Boulevards of South Central LA, a neighbourhood, highly stigmatized by the public, get flooded with the finest chrome and paint jobs that touch a master level of craftmanship.

Tangled by colorful tribals, the faces of Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg and others that fit this list are shown in hyperrealistic paintings. On a background of the most bold greens, blues and oranges the eye can record. The interior of these vehicules reflects the makers’ true fantasy, close to a car designers’ wildest dreams. To be part of this community you can join

a club where you have meetings about the clubs’ future, the costs that need to be made on future customization and foremost you receive an award-like 3D logo that are exhibited behind the rear window to proudly represent your club.

The community, opinionated by the nation and written off far too often as gangsters, found peace and solidarity in cars only to share it with their club members, families and friends on each and every sunday of the year. As some of us go to play ball, they ride their cars out and participate in hop battles, hitting the switches until the chrome gets busted or the wheels fall off.

The following outtakes are made in Carson, Compton, Gardena, Long Beach & Watts between 2018 - 2020. The body of work pursues to give you a glimpse of this rich culture that is little known to the outside world.

{{ readMoreButton }}

PhMuseum Days 2023 Open Call

Apply now for 4 Exhibitions at PhMuseum Days 2023 plus a 40-image collective installation, free applicants pass, and more

Apply now