Dan Hernandez artwork currently on view at 20 North Gallery
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Dan Hernandez was born in San Diego, California in 1977. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000 from Northwest Missouri State (Maryville) and a Masters of Fine Arts in 2002 from American University (Washington, DC). He currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at The University of Toledo (Ohio).
Hernandez’s paintings utilize both traditional and new media techniques to explore the visual dialog between religion, mythology, and pop culture. He has had solo exhibitions in galleries in Ohio, Michigan and Arkansas. His work has been included in many group exhibitions, including shows at Shizaru Gallery (London, UK), Southern Ohio Museum (Portsmouth, Ohio) Cindy Rucker Gallery (New York City), Strohl Art Center (Chautauqua, New York), Contemporary Arts Center (Las Vegas, Nevada) Lehman College Art Gallery (Brooklyn, New York), Westport Art Center (Westport, Connecticut), and the Riffe Gallery (Columbus, Ohio). Hernandez is represented at Kim Foster Gallery in New York City, where he has enjoyed two solo shows.
His work is in numerous private collections, both national and international, as well as the permanent collection of Colección SOLO of Madrid (Spain) and has been featured and reviewed in several distinguished publications, including ARTnews, HyperAllergic, Artillery Magazine, Arte Fuse, Gizmodo, and Der Spiegel. Dan Hernandez was awarded the Bellinger Award at the Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 2010 and has been twice selected for an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, in 2011 and 2015.
Genesis is defined as “the coming into being of something; the origin”, but like many words that can be used as both noun and proper noun, what it communicates depends largely on its usage. Two of its usages, and the relationship that exists between them, are particularly interesting and relevant to this body of work. In the first, and probably most well-known usage, Genesis is the title of an important religious text. In the second, and equally well known amongst my generation, Genesis is the Sega video game console that hit the home gaming market in the late 1980s. While these two usages come from very different traditions, they share some common ground. On a basic level both signify a type of narrative device. In the case of the religious text, the Book of Genesis houses the creation stories that are part of the Christian tradition; Noah’s Ark, Adam & Eve, etc. Similarly, the Sega Genesis game console is a vehicle for narrative games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Altered Beast and others. On another level, both of the narrative collections that are associated with these usages of Genesis utilize the supernatural and mythic as a central and reoccurring theme…
Despite its definition (the coming into being of something), which can communicate the sense of “new”, the word genesis, by its association with the biblical text and by its origin in Old English, also conveys a sense of “the old”. This juxtaposition is equally interesting and relevant to my work as an artist. By nature, things that are very old have an increased sense of value. Some of this value comes from the sense that they have survived the passage of time and are fragments of a larger whole that has been lost…The imagery presented in this work, which is woven together from both contemporary and art historical sources, is created primarily in the computer but it is viewed through a lens that is applied purposefully to create this feeling of “age”. Through transferring the computer image to a physical surface and manipulating that surface, the work takes on qualities associated with fresco painting. This association ties the imagery, which is made using a very contemporary process, to a pictorial tradition from the past. While the digital nature of the process is always evident, it is this veil of “age” that solidifies the work and creates the material tension that parallels the dialog that is taking place within the imagery itself.
Previous 20 North Gallery exhibitions including artwork by Dan Hernandez
- In Otherworlds: July 7 – September 30, 2017. Click to view exhibit page.