Daniel Hernandez, a graphic artist in the process of growth
Written by Melina Rodriguez
I am a printmaker and painter born on March 31, 1995 in the community of Tlacolula de Matamoros in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
I began my interest in art at the age of 15, when I took a course in printmaking in a studio located in downtown Oaxaca called La Curtiduría (The Tannery). That experience led me to choose a degree in Visual Arts at the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca (UABJO).
I consider myself a self-taught artist. I learned techniques on my own with the help of friends from other communities in Oaxaca. My inspiration comes from experiences I had in my childhood and anecdotes I heard in my community. I always look for beauty in gloomy things like death.
In 2016, I collaborated with a group of fellow artists to open a printmaking studio called Gabinete Grafico (Graphic Cabinet). We focus on developing various projects such as engraving folders, group exhibitions, co-editions and murals.
Throughout my career I have participated in different exhibitions in states of Mexico such as Oaxaca, Puebla, Guanajuato and Querétaro, as well as graphic exhibitions in the United States. In 2017 I was part of the exhibition “Voices from Oaxaca: Social And Cultural Expressions”, at the Kennedy Arts Center, in Cincinnati; and in 2019 in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the “Querida Mortem” exhibition. I participated in various art competitions, which took my work to countries such as Chile, Spain and Bulgaria.
Currently I continue to work in Gabinete Grafico to support the work of emerging Oaxacan talent, as well as helping to build a new studio in my hometown of Tlacolula called Obra Negra (Under Construction).
What are your main influences?
I really like Caravaggio's baroque characterization and the strong contrasts in his work. In Mexico City, I am very attracted to the work of Arturo Rivera. Speaking of photography, I like how Roger Ballen presents the lives of marginal communities. I am also very proud of many fellow Oaxacan artists after opening workshops in Querétaro and Mexico City; they have succeeded despite being foreign to those cities.
Tell me something special about Oaxaca.
Oaxaca has grown into one of the most vibrant regional art centers in Mexico and worldwide. This is appealing to me and encourages me to be a better artist every day.
How do you want people to remember your art?
Sometimes I think about this, but I always think about the present; about living today. I want to be remembered mainly for my relationships with my friends and colleagues. For the many experiences, we built together.
What advice would you give to young people interested in a career in fine arts?
Put aside your fear and take a risk. Start a project. At the end of the road, there are two outcomes you can accomplish. You can succeed or learn from your mistakes so you can try it again.
Confrontación (The Showdown) by Daniel Hernandez
Errante (Nomad) by Daniel Hernandez