Rodger Duncan was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA, and studied fine art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts. He received his masters degree after a year of studying painting in Florence, Italy.
The artists he most admired were Picasso and Matisse, for their sense of colour and shape.
His first commissions were advertisements for department stores and he later worked for designers Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Stephen Jones, Patrick Kelly, Carolina Herrara and Anne Klein.
He was a young American illustrator, who worked at lightning speed and always with a live model. Said the artist "the model is the drawing, I am attracted to fashion illustration as a form of personal expression, interpreting the mood of the model according to what she is wearing. She is a young, active woman, her gestures and movements inspire me and because I work so fast she can always be caught in motion."
There was a shape and feeling in Duncan's dynamic brushstrokes and glowing gouache colours, which, coupled with his ability to capture a likeness in just a few lines, were much appreciated by American Vogue. They regularly commissioned from him both fashion drawings and portraits of elegantly dressed socialites.
He regularly contributed to Harpers Bazaar, the New Yorker magazine and American Vogue during the 1980's.
The outstanding characteristic of Duncan's work was his use of blocks of high-voltage colour. His figures are free and easy, yet still sophisticated and with an undercurrent of energy concealed beneath a deceptively relaxed poise.
He died an untimely death in the late 80's.