Gustavo Hernandez began his art career in 1999 when his artwork was accepted as part of Hecho en Califas: The Last Decade 1990–1999, which showcased the work of California Chicano, Latino, and Native American artists who used non-traditional approaches to media and who challenged the mainstream understanding and visual language of their communities.
Curated by artist Richard A. Lou, the show was inspired by the Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965–1985 exhibition and brought to the fore the evolving diversity of art created in the 1990s. Organized by the Latino Arts Network, it featured 31 artists, including Raoul de la Sota (Nopalscape), Rubén Esparza (Sin Pecado), Michael Garcia (Throwing the Baby Out With the Bath Water), Alma Lopez (California’s Fashion Slaves), Robert Sanchez (Silla de la Frontera #1), Gustavo Hernandez (David & Jonathan), James Luna (Half Indian/Half Mexican), Juana Alicia (Citizen), Judy Baca (Raspados Mojados), Frank Romero (The Death of Ruben Salazar), and Sylvia Zavala (Zapatos).
While at Stanford, Hernandez worked for the Chicana Art Project, studied art under Enrique Chagoya and took classes in documentary film and videography under Jan Krawitz.
In the early 2000’s Hernandez started working as Media Manager for the Stop AIDS Project in San Francisco. He was instrumental in using art and design to draw participants and volunteers to the agency’s many workshops and events. Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives now holds the STOP AIDS Project records, an effort made possible by a detailed processing grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The collection offers researchers a rich set of material documenting the groundbreaking HIV prevention efforts of the STOP AIDS Project. STOP AIDS Project’s wide-ranging programs are geared towards the needs of specific groups within the communities they serve, including LeatherFuck, Q Action, Positive Force/PLUS, Chico Chats, FLIQ, Our Love, and In Our Prime. Hernandez’s art and design skills created the visual identity for each program.