097: Rodney Durso – Life’s Twisting Journey To Social Purpose: Part One

097: Rodney Durso – Life’s Twisting Journey To Social Purpose: Part One

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097: Rodney Durso - Life's Twisting Journey To Social Purpose: Part One

Guest Overview

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

Amy Brown

Links to Social




Rodney’s Instagram 

Links in show


CB radios


Emerson Lake and Palmer 


Stormhouse Partners

Three tarts in Chelsea

University of Rhode Island


Michael Hanchett Hanson 

Whitney Biennial 

Offsite Art 

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

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