' Dan Hernandez
Dan Hernandez
Dan Hernandez: Genesis 2015
November 19 - January 16, 2016

Press Release

link to review in Artillery Magazine

link to review in Arte Fuse

Dan Hernandez presents a skewed understanding of mythology, religion and violence, enlightened by popular culture. He blurs boundaries, rearranges hierarchies, and calls into question our notions of iconography and devotion. Genres from the recent and distant past collide 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 that was a defining moment of 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 a central and reoccurring theme.

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 hallmarks 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 were similar and interchangeable.

By transferring computer images to a physical surface and manipulating that surface into fragments, the work takes on a fresco quality that has survived the passage of time. While the digital nature of the process is evident, it is this guise of “age” that is the genesis of this artist’s creative approach.

“To imagine epic battles between heaven and earth, Dan Hernandez plants Super Mario Bros. clues in ancient frescoes and uses Donkey Kong architecture to create medieval fortresses. You don’t remember that part of the bible where saints and devils do battle with neon lasers and spaceships?…” Rebecca Robertson, ARTnews 4/15/14

Hernandez was awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2011 and 2015. His artwork was included at Beit Ha’ir Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel “Immersion,” Southern Ohio Museum “Fast Forward to the Renaissance,” “Bad For You” curator Beth Rudin DeWoody in London, Lehman College Art Gallery “Under the Influence: the Comics,” Westport Art Center “Toy Stories” curator Helen Klisser During. Hernandez received 1st Prize at the Annual Chautauqua Exhibit of Contemporary Art in 2013 and 2010. His work has been written about and reproduced in publications in France, Germany, England, Israel, Austria and the US including in ARTnews, Hyperallergic, Spiegel Online, Gizmodo, and Arte Fuse.

Past Exhibitions




2016  Diane Kidd Gallery, Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH

College of Southern Nevada Art Gallery, Las Vegas, NV

2015  Kim Foster Gallery, Genesis 2015, New York, NY  

Secor Gallery, Toledo, OH

University of Kentucky Art Gallery, Genesis, Lexington, KY

2014  RC Art Gallery, University of Michigan, Genesis, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Kim Foster Gallery, Genesis 2014, New York

2012 Kim Foster Gallery, Genesis, New York, NY

2011 Kresge Gallery, Frammenti, Lyon College, Batesville, AR

2009 Madhouse Gallery, Dan Hernandez: Recent Work, Toledo, OH

2007 Fine Arts Gallery, Dan Hernandez: Recent Paintings, Mott Community College, Flint, MI



2017  Kim Foster Gallery, Winterfell, New York, NY

2016  Everhart Museum, Wolves, Magic Mirrors, and Spinning Wheels: The Anatomy of Fairy Tales (July 15 to December 31, 2016) Scranton, PA

2015  Kim Foster Gallery, Heavy/Lite, New York, NY

2014  Ann Arbor Art Center, Drones, Ann Arbor, MI

Art Miami CONTEXT, Kim Foster Gallery booth, Miami, FL

2013  Southern Ohio Museum, Fast Forward to the Renaissance, Portsmouth, OH

Strohl Art Center, 56th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Chautauqua, NY (First Prize), juror Dr. Janne Siren, Director Albright-Knox

Art Miami CONTEXT, Kim Foster Gallery booth, Miami, FL

Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Snap to Grid, Los Angeles, CA

Kim Foster Gallery, Partical Physical, New York, NY

Contemporary Arts Center, 24th Annual Juried Show, Las Vegas, NV

2012  Shizaru Gallery, Bad For You, curator Beth Rudin DeWoody, London, UK

Toledo Museum of Art, Portrait Invitational, Toledo, OH

Lehman College Art Gallery, Under the Influence: The Comics, NY

Riffe Gallery, Lets Get Digital, Columbus, OH

Westport Art Center, Toy Stories, curator Helen Klisser During, Westport, CT

Toledo Museum of Art, Quest for Fire, Toledo, OH

2011  Gallery Project, Post Apocalypse, Ann Arbor, MI

Kim Foster Gallery, Monkey Spoon, curator D Dominick Lombardi, New York, NY

Kim Foster Gallery, Night, New York, NY

407 Washington, Artomatic 419! Toledo, OH

Center of Visual Arts, Faculty Exhibition, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

2010 Toledo Museum of Art, Hispanic/Latino Culture Exhibition, Toledo, OH

Parkwood Gallery, Boy Girl Boy Girl, Toledo, OH

Strohl Art Center, 53rd Chautauqua Annual Exhibition, Chautauqua, NY (First Prize), juror Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

Walter E Terhune Gallery, Toledo Emerges, Perrysburg, OH

Secor Building Gallery, The Mix, Toledo, OH

2009 Desotorow Gallery, Show & Tell, Savannah, GA

Gallery Project, Shrines & Alters, Ann Arbor, MI

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Area Artists, Toledo, OH

Art-O-Matic 419, Art-O-Matic 419, Toledo, OH

2008 Toledo Museum of Art, TAA’DA, Toledo, OH

2005 Hype Gallery, Hype Gallery, Milan, Italy

Logan Gallery, Faculty Benefit Exhibition, Chautauqua, NY

Sykes Gallery, Flux, Millersville, PA

2004 Logan Gallery, Faculty Benefit Exhibition, Chautauqua, NY

Mott Community College’s Fine Arts Gallery, Part-Time Faculty Exhibition, Flint, MI

2003  Logan Gallery, Faculty Benefit Exhibition, Chautauqua, NY

2002  Buckham Gallery, Balancing Ax, Flint, MI

Michigan Institute for the Arts, Michigan Now, Detroit, MI

Logan Gallery, Artist Response to 911, Chautauqua, NY

G Fine Art, 9 Painters, Washington, DC

Watkins Gallery, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Washington, DC

I Street Studios Gallery, Two, Washington, DC

2001 Watkins Gallery, Graduate Drawing Exhibition, Washington, DC

7th Street Gallery, DCAC, Washington, DC

2000 Watkins Gallery, Graduate Drawing Exhibition, Washington, DC

Art-O-Matic, Art-O-Matic, Washington, DC

Northwest Missouri State University, Candidate for BFA Exhibition, Maryville, MO



2015 Individual Excellency Award, Ohio Arts Council

2013 Bellinger Award, 56th Chautauqua Annual Exhibit of Contemporary Art, Chautauqua, NY

2011 Individual Excellency Award, Ohio Arts Council

2010 Bellinger Award, 53rd Chautauqua Annual Exhibit of Contemporary Art, Chautauqua, NY

2009 Lourdes College Art Department Award, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH

2008 Athena Society Award, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH

2000-2002 Graduate Assistantship, American University, Washington, DC

1998 Bill Fields Scholarship, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO

Hidegrade Dreps Scholarship, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO



ARTILLERY MAGAZINE, Genesis 2015, by Daniel Gauss 12/17/15

ARTE FUSE, Genesis of Brilliance, by Oscar Laluyan, 12/5/15

ARTnews, What if Fra Angelico Painted Space Invaders? by Rebecca Robertson, 4/15/14

SPIEGEL ONLINE, Angeklickt: Super Mario in Mittelalter-Kulissen, by Emily Bartels, 4/23/14

GIZMODO, Space Invaders should have been a Biblical Epic All Along, by Geoff Manaugh, 4/16/14

KOTAKU, Space Invaders and Other Classic Games as Renaissance Paintings, by Yannick LeJacq, 4/17/14

The Creators Project, Iconic Videogames Become Iconic Renaissance Paintings in “Genesis 2014” by Emerson Rosenthal, 4 /17/14

ARTE FUSE, In this sign you will conquer! by Daniel Gauss, 4/2/14

HYPERALLERGIC, Feeling Unhinged in Context, by Jillian Steinhauer, 12/10/13



Beth Rudin DeWoody, New York, Florida

David Cantolla / KGervas Collection, Madrid, Spain

Pierre Donnersberg Collection, Paris, France

Gary Snyder Fine Art, New York

Phillippe Escaravage and Charlotte Forbes, New Jersey

Richard and Nadine Woldenberg, Chicago

Eric & Staci Flatt, New York

Joseph & Beth DiProspero, London




2012-Present Assistant Professor, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

2010 Art in Public Places Coordinator, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Toledo, OH

2008-2010 Adjunct Faculty, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

2008-2009 Managing Director, Firenation Glass Studio & Gallery, Holland, OH

2002-2007 Adjunct Faculty, Mott Community College, Flint, MI

2003-2005 Visiting Lecturer, American University Art in Italy Program, Corciano, Italy

Lecturer, Chautauqua Institution School of Art, Chautauqua, NY

2002 Graduate Teaching Assistant, American University, Washington, DC, Instructor on record, Stanley Lewis

2001 Graduate Teaching Assistant, American University, Washington, DC, Instructor on record, Deborah Kahn



2000-2002 Masters of Fine Art, Painting, American University, Washington, DC

1995-2000  Bachelor of Fine Art, Painting/Drawing, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville