Young Collectors 2023 Art

Hannah Bronfman on Why Art Collecting Is a Lot Like Angel Investing

Portrait of Hannah Bronfman. Asif Hoque, She hold me down like gravity, 2021. 

This profile is part of CULTURED’s 2023 Young Collectors list.

Growing up, Hannah Bronfman had two role models for collecting. Her father, the former CEO of Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman Jr., took the heritage approach—lining his home with Latin American icons like Diego Rivera, Roberto Matta, and Wifredo Lam. Her mother, the actor Sherri Brewer, swung a different direction as an early supporter of the vanguard, including today’s titans Simone Leigh, Derrick Adams, and Mickalene Thomas. A legend in her own right who was lauded for supporting Black and historically excluded voices before doing so was “trendy,” Brewer shared her passion for the artists of her time with her daughter, who channeled it into her own artistic practice.

During her teenage years, Bronfman gravitated towards ceramics and sculpture, mediums that infiltrated reality more than the wall-bound works her parents favored. Her attraction to three-dimensional practices revealed an adolescent desire to distinguish her aesthetic from her parents', although it ultimately echoed their belief that art is a calling and a necessity. Bronfman decided to continue her art studies at Bard College, but she found herself gravitating away from sculpture and toward the performance arts when she developed a following as a DJ. The two pursuits never felt mutually exclusive; for Bronfman, music and contemporary art were intertwined languages that her family had spoken for generations.


Not much about Bronfman's creative philosophy has changed since her early years. In her current capacity as an angel investor, she is focused on “minority founders who are creating a better future for the planet’s products and platforms,” an adaptation of her mother’s worldview applied to a new field. “When I was DJing, my friends were artists, so it was really easy to go to studios and gallery openings. Now, I feel like I am learning more about art over the dinner table with friends,” Bronfman says.

Her mother plays a role in that process, as does her husband, fellow DJ Brendan Fallis. The couple keeps simple rules for their acquisitions: If they are both excited by a piece, can afford it, and it fits at home, they buy it. “The artists that my husband and I are drawn to are young, emerging talents,” Bronfman says. “When you’re creating a household with someone, the artwork needs to speak to both of you.” She appreciates artists who have something to say but have not yet been heard. This, perhaps, is a byproduct of a career spent helping inventors and disruptors break new ground. Somewhere in the background, her inner sculptor is also present—a teenage self who is concerned with material reality and how it can be used to envision new possibilities.