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Anh Duong was born in Bordeaux, France to a Vietnamese father and Spanish mother. She studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and danced with the Franchetti Academy of Classical Dance. In 1988 she moved to New York City where she began painting. In 1991 Sperone Westwater Gallery featured Duong's first painting exhibition in New York. Her earliest self-portrait titled Summer in Montauk (1988) was included in a 1997 show at the PMMK Museum of Modern Art in Ostend, Belgium. Two years later (1999), the Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont presented her first solo exhibition of self-portraits with more than 65 works on display.

Duong has since become a recognized painter in New York City. Forgetting the subject to focus on the technical painting itself, she focuses on the portrait, and mostly the self-portrait that she has painted on a daily basis as a diary. "(...) her paintings expose an unexpected, unglamorous, intimate relationship with her body (...) Duong's paintings should be viewed as contributions to a different genre - they belong alongside the work of women such as Dora Maar, Anaïs Nin, and Frida Kahlo, artists who compellingly exposed interior worlds whose beauty, intelligence, and character inspired creativity, both in themselves and in others" (artnet Magazine, 2004).