Chris Hernandez was born and raised in Wilmington, California. His mother emigrated from Guatemala and his father emigrated from Mexico when they were both 18 and 19. Raised in a lower class Hispanic town, he honed his creativity and art to stay away from gangs and violence. He is fluent in Spanish and has visited his parents’ homeland to familiarize with his roots and his parents' cultural upbringing and influence his artwork.
He has shown in galleries, including in the University Art Museum of California State University Long Beach and in the Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery in his very own town of Wilmington where he was also a part of a group artist lecture. He graduated at the CSU School of Art of Long Beach with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Drawing and Painting.
"Improvisation is the most important aspect of my work – the only time when originality comes forth. The impulse triggered by a sudden vision or idea usually occurs when I’m analyzing a painting or I’ve hit a lull. It could be a memory of a landscape, a shape or form of a specific color, or a formless idea that I react to with a brush or squeegee or knife."
"I can trace the ideas from my everyday visual experience, but the fundamental process of acting on it seems primal. Cultural icons and the contradictions of everyday life are reinterpreted through my painting. Living in a diverse city like Los Angeles, where traditions clash and form new cultures inspires me to create. Through process, experimentation, and gesture, I try to build tension and reflect history in my work. "
"I usually begin with a diagrammatic or gesture drawing to give structure to the picture plane. The “conversation” begins by adding abstracted forms and symbols based on mundane objects, pop culture and media, or current events. Rummaging through potential combinations by adding, subtracting, and editing, I work to find the essential elements of each painting. In many instances the final result bears little or no trace of its origin "