The overarching theme in Dylan Hurwitz's work is the search for community and connection – in the lives of queer people in particular – and the rituals, places and landscapes that foster all of this. His subject matter is drawn from his everyday life, and he paints from observation, and memory. The resulting works oscillate between landscape, figure, and abstraction. Dylan Hurwitz’s work between 2020 and 2023 is strongly influenced by ongoing time spent in several locations, including Boy Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he’s attended a residency during the summer months of these years, as well as Jacob Riis Beach and Fort Tilden in New York City, which he bikes to regularly.
Since the lockdowns between 2020-2022, Dylan Hurwitz returned outdoors to plein air painting, making work onsite in the queer and other public spaces he was frequenting, including gay beaches, nudist or cruising spaces, and public parks. He focuses on locations that set the stage for interaction, community, and gathering, and the relative remoteness of many of these places is integral to the way they function. Dylan Hurwitz is interested in their open-ended depictions - instead of comprehensive views of interactions and groups of people, he paints close up views of those he spends time with there, as well as the landscapes themselves. His compositions are often cropped in ways that blur distinctions - segments of figures transform into undulating dunes, and hair takes on the semblance of grass, intermingling with the landscape in a fluid interchange.
The on-site paintings additionally function as source material for larger works in the studio. Dylan Hurwitz utilizes scale shifts to further dissolve the distinction between the human form, landscape, and abstraction, as well as emphasize a playful push and pull between flatness and depth. The use of cropping leaves questions about narratives unfolding beyond the paintings’ edges.