Rodney Durso is founder of Artbridge, a New York a non-profit that empowers emerging artists to transform New York’s ubiquitous construction scaffolding into large scale art exhibits
In part one of this two-parter, we cover growing up in Long Island to a creative and artistic mother and a father who came from the wrong side of the tracks, feeling materially abundant while living in a landscape of emotional scarcity.
We cover growing up as an Italian in a predominantly Jewish Long Island culture, his educational experiences, and his early entrepreneurial ventures.
We discuss his musical influences and ambitions, transitioning his focus to advertising, film production before being drawn to design and learning from design icon Milton Glaser. Forming his design agency in NYC in 1999 with a holistic 360 approach before integration was a common term.
In part two we focus on Rodney’s second life, as an artist and social entrepreneur forming Artbridge in 2009 to give emerging artists unprecedented exposure by exhibiting their work on construction scaffolding and fencing across the city.
Rodney discusses his mission and the impact this innovative initiative has had on the lives of underrepresented artists and how serendipity led to its scaling internationally. We also discuss art as therapy, procrastination, curiosity and his process of creation. And much much more.
I hope you enjoy the candor, generosity of spirit, and artistic social enterprise of Rodney Durso.
What we discuss:
His artistic mother’s influence
His father coming from the wrong side of the track
Rodneys Landscaper father
The influence of his older brother
His love of music and being in a rock band in his teens
And his escape into music and art
His ambition to be a rock star
1/4th between an A and C
Interest in abstraction
The dark side of his upbringing and the emotional scarcity
Having an antenna and the power of listening
School life and mentor
Growing up as an Italian in a Jewish Long Island culture
Captain Quick food delivery and his early entrepreneurial venture
His evolution through advertising and film production into design
Having Chronic Fatigue syndrome and his Chinese Tea venture
Planet Organic Tea company and the lessons in business
Setting up Stormhouse Partners Design Agency
Burning out from the agency experience
Migrating to art as therapy
Seeking abstraction and dissonance in his work to create visceral work, working fast and messy
Dealing with procrastination
Artbridge and getting work into a gallery
Curating 26 artists and wrapping a building
Working with Google and Facebook
Taking the program to Italy post the Earthquake- Offsite Art
Scaling the program
How the program finds artists
Serendipity and the Highline open studio
Monetizing Self Esteem – Facebook’s legacy
Links to Social
Links in show