DAN HERNANDEZ – GENESIS 2015
November 19 - December 24, 2015
Dan Hernandez presents a skewed understanding of mythology, religion, and violence, enlightened by popular culture. He blurs boundaries, rearranges hierarchies, and questions our notions of iconography and devotion. Genres from the recent and distant past merge with ease. The mixed media works recall Renaissance and Byzantine art, and vintage video games.
The “Genesis” of the show’s title not only references the biblical Book of Genesis, but also the video game console Sega Genesis, which was a defining moment in 80s and 90s pop culture. The Book of Genesis houses the creation stories: Noah’s Ark, Adam & Eve, etc. Similarly, Sega Genesis was a vehicle for narrative video games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and Altered Beasts. Both utilize the supernatural and mythical as central and reoccurring themes.
Hernandez forms connections that are loosely tied together through visual dialog among two or more parts. For instance, the artist parallels video games like Street Fighter 2, a side scrolling, competitive fighting game by Capcom, with Early Renaissance paintings by artists like Simone Martini, Giotto, and Duccio. Flattened space and exaggerated differences of scale were characteristics of Byzantine art, but they are also at home in early Sega Genesis video games. Dan Hernandez’s “epiphany” was the realization that the iconography of early Italian art and emerging 80s pop video game culture shared stylistic and narrative qualities