' Dan Hernandez
Dan Hernandez
February 20 - April 25, 2020

Press Release

Early video game consoles were designed with a RESET button. This feature allowed the user to reboot the console’s software. While it was not the intent, the RESET button on Dan Hernandez’ Nintendo Entertainment System often got used as a release of frustration. His finger would jam the RESET in a fit of annoyance at losing a precious life, or at missing an important weapon or power up, early on in a game.

The four new narrative works in the RESET series were influenced by various pictorial genres, including early Christian painting and illuminations, medieval maps, Islamic Art and Indian Miniatures. Two distinct philosophies were employed in the creation of the works – both of which are commonly used in video games. The first is an “open-world” or “sandbox” philosophy. In this approach the player (or viewer) has complete freedom to explore within the boundaries of the provided world. Games like this often include narratives, but it is up to the player whether or not, or how, the narrative is followed. The second philosophy is a more rigid linear approach. In this scenario the player (or viewer) has some autonomy in his/her movement through the world, but ultimately must follow a predetermined path from start to finish. The recent works by Dan Hernandez draw from role-playing video games (RPGs) like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Pokemon. They are also a nod to arcade button-mashers like Gauntlet and to the many maze-based games of early gaming history like Pac-Man, Maze Craze or Adventure. The Sims is another important influence.

The three more abstract paintings in the RESET series are less grounded and toy box like in nature. In a toy box one finds items that are used to create imaginary worlds mixed freely together without regard to narrative structure or context. In these works, fragments from the artist’s digital archive of appropriated imagery from art history, video games and cartoons, some of which have been used in previous paintings, are piled together in non-narrative compositions. The order in these works is more intuitive and draws on an internal sense of design. The source material includes objects and characters from cartoons like He-Man, She-Ra, Blackstar and Conan the Adventurer, as well as from a multitude of side scrolling beat-em-up games, competitive fighting games, and RPGs. They also include imagery from similar art historical references that were used in the narrative works.

RESET alternates between the narrative and the abstract. While being distinctly different, these two artistic styles are complementary. They are two sides of the same coin, yin and yang, set and reset.


link to exhibition video

link to artist website


Hernandez was awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2011 and 2015. His artwork will be included in “Game Changers” at the MassArt Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition in February 2020 in Boston. His work 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.


digital video – commission Colección Solo


Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art
MassArt Art Museum  Boston, MA
February 22-December, 2020 

This group exhibition explores artists working at the confluence of contemporary art and video games. Whether highlighting under explored narratives, pushing technological boundaries, or imagining alternative worlds through game aesthetics, the artists feature in Game Changers are discovering new possibilities for what game-related art can be and do.


2020 Kim Foster Gallery, RESET, New York, NY

2018 Kim Foster Gallery, Game Over, New York, NY

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



2020 Game Changers, MassArt Art Museum, Boston, MA

2018 Human/Nature, Wayne State Univ., Elaine Jacob Gallery, Detroit, MI

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

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

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, 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 

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



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



Coleccion SOLO, Madrid, Spain

Beth Rudin DeWoody, USA

Pierre Donnersberg, Paris, France