Rodney Durso | Studio News
VOL. 10 | March 2017

Upcoming| Art Expo 2017



We are excited to announce that Rodney will be participating in ArtExpo 2017. Rodney has recently formed a relationship with Steidel Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery based out of Austin, Texas and London, England. In April, Rodney will be showcasing a selection of recent mixed media works on paper in the annual art fair, Art Expo New York. His work will be on display at the fair from April 21 to April 24 at Pier 94, where the art fair will take place. There will be lots of wonderful artwork on display during this Spring weekend, so we hope that you plan a visit.

For thirty-nine years and counting, ArtExpo has been changing the way people buy and sell art. Each year thousands of art industry insiders flock to ArtExpo New York in search of the art and artists that will shape trends in galleries worldwide. This year, they’ll host over 400+ innovative exhibiting artists, galleries and publishers from across the globe.

Steidel Fine Art is a international, contemporary art gallery and art consultancy. They work with emerging and established artists to present a diverse exhibition of different disciplines and media. They are known for their dedication to clients, and maintaining an international presence and strong artist relationships.



Art Expo 2017 | New York, NY
Pier 94

Instagram: @artexponewyork | Facebook: /artexponewyork

Steidel Fine Art| Texas and London

Instagram: @steidalfineart | Facebook: /steidalfineart


Events| PotatoMike

The studio is pleased to announce another new partnership with the New York based fine art      e-commerce platform, PotatoMike. The mission of PotatoMike is to connect emerging and established artists to the global community of collectors. Every work they feature comes from an artist who has been specially chosen for some original, provocative quality they bring to the mix. 

Rodney was invited to participate in their first pop up collective, which opened on Thursday February 2nd at a private space on W17th Street in Chelsea. The event was organized by PotatoMike Curator, Florence Deniau Stephan. The show remained on view by appointment until February 13th. More than 200 guests came through during the opening and the following week while the show was in place.


The exhibition was a collective show of works by emerging and established artists. Other artists in the show included Sara Badr Schmidt, Andries Botha, Paula Chahine, Nathalie Delaborde, Ellen Hackl Fagan, Faten Gaddes, Rajendra Karki, Oscar Lett, and Angela Tassoni. 

After such a successful event, PotatoMike has ensured the artists that there will be many more pop up events in the future, so please stay connected to Rodney to receive those announcements! 

Be sure to visit Rodney's profile on PotatoMike at, and take a look around at the other artists featured on the site as well.


PotatoMike | New York, NY
Instagram: @potatomike | Facebook: /realpotatomike

Events| High Line Open Studios, March 2017


We had a great start to Spring with this season's iteration of the High Line Open Studios here at the West Chelsea Arts Building. Rodney had over 200 guests visit his studio over the weekend of March 4th & 5th.

This High Line Open Studios, Rodney decided to kick off the year by showcasing a selection of his artwork archive, which is over 10 years in the making. Rodney hung work from various series around his studio in a salon style, resulting in an encyclopedic depiction of his art. It was a great way to show how his work has changed and continued to develop over the years while highlighting his signature styles. While the content of his work may change from project to project, he demonstrates a cohesive style that is distinctively his own.

If you did not get a chance to make it out to the High Line Open Studios and would like to come by, we would love to have you for a visit. Please schedule an appointment to visit the studio with Kat Ryals, Studio Manager. Her email is 


Rodney Durso | New York, NY
526 W. 26th Street
Studio 503

Instagram: @rodneydurso | Facebook: /rodneydursostudio


Events| Colorida Galeria De Arte


                          Olive and Earth, 2017                                               Candy Plant I, 2017
                 Mixed Media on Paper, 100 x 70 cm                      Mixed Media on Paper, 100 x 70 cm

This Spring, Rodney will be showing work at Colorida Galeria de Arte in Lisbon, Portugal. He has created 4 new large scale mixed media on paper artworks for a group exhibition at the gallery, and he will also be showing two smaller mixed media collage works from 2011. The exhibition is set to take place this Spring. Dates will be announced shortly. So if you happen to be traveling through Portugal this Spring, please stay tuned! 

Founded in 2007, the gallery is located by the Castle of Sao Jorge in the highest hill of the historic center of Lisbon, in a building more than 150 years old. Its principal focus is the representation of an international group of contemporary artists whose diverse practices include painting, photography, sculpture and drawing. Embracing artists who are both emerging and established, trained and self taught, Colorida cultivates artist growth and makes a vital contribution to the European arts community. 


 Colorida Galleria de Arte | Lisbon, Portugal

  Facebook: /coloridaartgallery

Community Spotlight| Tom Cocotos
Tom Cocotos earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from Columbia University. While enjoying this field of work, he felt like something was missing, but he’d been encouraged to focus on math and science and stopped taking art classes after grammar school.  As many of us are shaped to believe, art did not seem like a viable career choice.

After graduating from college, Cocotos started looking for career options that were both technical and creative.  He researched architectural programs, but found the field unable to fulfill his creative needs. So instead, he took a leap of faith and enrolled in a graduate program for fine art at the School of Visual Arts.  This was a bold move considering Cocotos had not been involved in art making for many years.  Ultimately, it was a decision that led him on a path to success in visual art and illustration.


                                              Views of Cocotos's Studio and "9 T-Bone Steaks"

Upon entering graduate school, Cocotos found the situation to be unnerving since he lacked formal training in painting and drawing. Luckily, Cocotos with determination became an excellent illustrator and draftsman.  He says that going to graduate school without formal training worked out for the best. “These initial limitations forced me to find unique solutions which led to powerful images.”

“Along the way, I started getting into collage, which is funny because I was trying to draw, and while my drawings were still primitive I discovered how much depth could be accomplished through the layering of collage.  My senior thesis built huge figures based on Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings.  I spent a year collaging these figures, and through the process figured out in hindsight that I was actually also learning how to draw. The next time I attended a figure drawing class, I was shocked by how my ability had subconsciously advanced.”


                                                    Sketch Book Bee and Santorini

Cocotos believes observation and concentration are largely responsible for this, but also that many collages have compositional elements that develop drawing.  “It feels like I am drawing or painting with paper.”  This paradox defines Cocotos’ signature style today.  He admits that his collage work at one time densely filled the page, but he began to bring his magazines and paper into drawing class as a supplement to live figure drawing, wherein a model would hold but a 20-minute pose.  The time limit introduced a corresponding restraint to the collage that has since become his hallmark.

The collages developed looseness, with lines suggesting the form.  “I loved how the white spaces informed the color and shape of the medium.  My early collage is saturated, rich and deep and I began to enjoy the challenge of incorporating a wider breathing space. When I began to travel more and live models were not possible, I began out of necessity to use myself as a subject.  This led to ever wilder notions of self.”

In the decade that Cocotos was working to develop his originality through collage, he was simultaneously practicing freelance illustration, forming long-term relationships with over 200 national publications like Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times. He also began producing a series of children’s books with National Geographic and developing the distinct advertising campaign for The Writer’s Foundry MFA at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn (  


                                                        Self Portrait with Crown Roast

During a six-year residency at the Art Center of South Florida, his fine art returned to large scale collage subjects and during that time he continuously created portraits of three main subjects he admired—women and muses that he refers to as “the imaginators”—these included poet Marie Ponsot, poet/novelist Sapphire, artist/writer Ultra Violet.  A one-man show around these works was featured in a large public exhibition on Lincoln Road in South Beach.

His current artistic process is an intensive and mathematical one, carefully disassembling a completed collage, mapping and numbering where each collage piece goes, thereby creating a mirroring work that forms an intricate paint-by-number pattern.  (Some of his works are made up of over 300 small collage pieces.)  “I want the final images to look delicate, but not be delicate.”  Each piece is then coated with acrylic medium and varnish to ensure archival quality, and then carefully reattached to restore the original to hang beside the numbered skeletal blueprint.


Recurring motifs in his work include slabs of meat, birds, bees and flowering artichokes. He’s not quite sure why certain imagery draws him.  “But eventually it starts to make sense.  I like repeating forms over and over, until they become less specific as concrete objects—revealing more of their symbolic potential.”  For him, the meat could be about flesh – dead flesh, consuming, overconsumption, consumerism, but they are also about mortality, death, and sexuality.  These ideas and themes also reflect the materials that Cocotos works with – tear outs of consumer products from magazine, trash such as the shiny packaging for toothpaste, and pieces of crumbling posters and street advertisements.

                                            His Studio at the Art Center of South Florida

Cocotos works out of a studio in the West Chelsea Arts Building on the 5th floor, just down the hall from Rodney.  While New York is his hometown and home base, he’s also a bit of an itinerant artist, traveling for months at a time to residencies, including those in cities of Athens, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, and Madrid.  In looking for source material, Cocotos discovered that each city has its own culture of street posters and advertisements; different papers, inks, and even color palettes are specific to each country.  Peeling street posters from walls around the world bring richness and uniquity to his art.  Currently, he’s researching where his next international residency will take him. Keep in touch with him below in order to find out!


Tom Cocotos| New York, NY
526 W. 26th Street
Studio 511

Instagram: @tcocotos | Facebook: /tom.cocotos | Twitter: @tCOCOTOS 

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Rodney Durso · 526 West 26th Street · Studio 503 · New York, NY 10001 · USA

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