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“Russ,” as he likes to be called, has been able to maintain a sense of inner calm and a positive outlook by keeping himself focused on what he is most passionate about—art—rather than on the uncertainty that accompanies homelessness.
After losing much of his photographic work to fire and theft, Russo has recreated many images through hand-painted, acrylic reproductions with a stunningly vibrant pallet of colors. Russo says,
"The focal point of nearly every piece I create is a sunrise—to me, a symbol of a new day and a message of hope to sufferers of mental illness."
Russo's innate creativity and ability to lose himself in his work have always been powerful tools for his recovery; drawing and painting offer him the ability to take the focus off of his symptoms so he can concentrate on getting better.
Art has become his primary form of therapy and, according to Russo, has provided more powerful healing than anything modern medicine has to offer.
ArtLifting's empowers homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.