Inside a Home for Two Artists, Constantly Remade Over 40 Years

The living room with a view into the TV room. Photo: Eric Boman

Peter Schlesinger and Eric Boman met in London in 1969. Though the artists (Schlesinger was painting at the time, Boman illustrating — they’ve since morphed into a sculptor and a photographer, respectively, but not exclusively) were at the center of a dazzling world that included Manolo Blahnik, Celia Birtwell, and Tina Chow, they felt that London was generally dreary back then and New York was not. So the couple packed up their studios and their photo albums and moved here in 1978. They bought a 4,000-square-foot loft in the Flatiron District, which was pretty deserted at the time, but it was also around the corner from Max’s Kansas City. Andy Warhol told them they had to take taxis home — otherwise, he said, they were certain to be killed.

Forty years later, their block is filled with high-end furniture shops and juice bars, but they are still living and working beneath the loft’s high ceilings, which they’ve always painted the same color as the walls. (The walls, it should be pointed out, have been many colors over the years, including a color that Schlesinger calls “pink” but Boman insists was “terra cotta,” inspired by a trip to Rome. Whatever it was, they agreed that it didn’t work. They went to Janovic separately and returned with identical chips of this Benjamin Moore grayish green.) The space, which they divided up back in ’78, includes studios for both, with separate entrances (“Eric thinks it’s much more professional that way,” Schlesinger says); a generously scaled, multi­purpose, perfectly square living area; and a cozy television nook, a kitchen, and a master bedroom. The rooms are all filled with their own art as well as work by friends, and the furniture and objects from Dunbar, Fornasetti, and Tommi Parzinger were mostly found in their neighborhood back when it was full of flea markets and junk shops — much of it still bears the nicks and bumps that show its age. “Peter doesn’t believe in restoration,” Boman explains. He’s a much bigger believer in history.

*This article appears in the April 17, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

Inside Two Artists’ Home, Constantly Remade Over 40 Years