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This Is Duncan Hannah

The iconic American painter invites us into his Brooklyn home and studio

We love our friends. They are artists and adventurers, scholars and sportsmen, renegades and rogues. They inspire Rowing Blazers with their creativity.

Duncan Hannah is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts. His paintings have been exhibited across the globe - Paris, London, San Francisco, even right here in New York’s beloved Metropolitan Museum of Art. We photographed Duncan in his Brooklyn home and studio and chatted about his book, his inspirations and the advice he would give to his younger self.

Location: Dean St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Hometown: Minneapolis
Occupation: Artist / writer
Astrological sign: Leo

Rowing Blazers: How would you describe your style of dress?

Duncan Hannah: A mix of ivy league, swinging London, classic bohemian.

RB: Tell us about what inspires you.

DH: Books, paintings, films, music.

RB: How long have you lived in New York?

DH: 46 years

RB: Tell us about your book.

DH: 20th Century Boy is a decade of my edited diary entries from the 1970s.

RB: Was it cathartic to release a book filled with so many personal stories?

DH: It was a bit cathartic. I always enjoy when a writer is being candid, so felt I must do the same. It felt mostly a positive thing.

RB: How do you think your experience as an artist relates to the current generation of young artists? 

DH: I was lucky to emerge when I did, though I didn't know it at the time. There was a lot less emphasis on money in the 70's art world. It must be difficult to move to expensive NYC now. Then it was easy.

RB: If you could go back and give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

DH: The breakthroughs come with total immersion in your work. The more you work, the better you get. It takes time, don't despair. You never know what the future brings. A career really can't be planned. It's all trial and error. Getting there is half the fun.

RB: What are your hobbies?

DH: The same as my inspirations. Plus going to galleries and museums, European travel, flea markets, swimming, cultivating friendships.

RB: Favorite galleries in New York?

DH: Kasmin, Zwirner, Half Gallery, Steven Harvey Fine Arts, Invisible Exports.

RB: Any exhibitions coming up?

DH: Galerie Pixi, Paris, April 11, 2019

Photos by Molly Kirk