My work is a mix of many things, and created in a number of ways. Sometimes viscerally — with brush in hand — fueled by loud music, emotion and caffeine, other times it’s more meditative, working in a deliberate fashion. Either way, the work is pulling from feelings and influences from current events, ideas, design, architecture, and music.

In fact, I have always been influenced by these many disciplines, especially in the abstract form. For example, I see similarities between the work of Klee, Miro or Kandinsky and free-form jazz, both expressing similar ideas in different mediums — aural and visual. I also find great comfort in the form and shape of good design, and I sometimes bring that love of organization, methodology and hierarchy into my work.

Currently, I work in collage, acrylic and photo transfer on limestone clay, custom wood boxes and paper in a variety of sizes. My professional background is graphic design, which orients me towards line, color, shape and typography. As I work, a story organically unfolds, a narrative comes to life, and thrives by not having the rigid, practical constraints of my former design practice. Instead, I find balance in the free-form and unstructured, using nonsensical bits of text, symbols, and blobs of colors and collage without purpose other than to elicit feeling. Hopefully then,  I’m left with something that excites and motivates me to create more, dig deeper, yielding something beautiful and thoughtful.

Finally, part of my process is the naming each piece, or series of pieces, and as a lover of words and language, I often feel that a piece or series is not complete until a name is crafted. The language and ideas come directly from what I see and sense in the work, though the themes that I keep coming back to involve exploration of self, self reflection and inner discovery. I sometimes think that every piece is a kind of self portrait, even the scribbles, spots, arrows, squares and circles. They all say something about me and my love of visual art, organization of the page and the deep connection I feel to color and form.

Rodney Durso 2020

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