Third Nature


Art holds the unique responsibility as the endeavor to take the world out of context in order to put it back into one: reattributed, differently applied, and with alternative constitution. It’s a heavy steed, and a bit of a rodeo act, but most importantly it is our third nature realized: as a dialogue, a discourse, a profession, a market and a world. Where second nature is the condition of our human facility to mimic nature itself, our third nature is the ability to think one dimension outside that, and exhibit it as art. The third nature is like the third eye: it leaks insight, and confides influence.

This world is not for the naturally curious. We are cornered to stay cornered, objects née subjects; but it is the nature of things as they were that gives form to the shape of things as they are. I’m interested in the excavation: the hidden secrets behind the dirt of time. The curious Will compels us to find out what we don’t understand and question the things we think we do. My practice reflects this roving vision. It circles wide before reining in close.

 Dedicated to a multi-media practice, my work takes shape between the lines of sculpture, painting, photography and the written word. Using a mixture of classical and contemporary materials as a method to invoke a prismatic presentation of time, the work examines the evolution of historical counterpoints as they migrate into and mitigate about our contemporary givens. Working as though my own collaboration house, objects and images get produced via a number of prescribed working methods I employ based on the physical or ideological readymades I choose to create bones with.

 We are living in a time of the “alreadymade.” Life’s model is about choosing its parts; not conceiving of its making. The making’s already been done. To make is to specialize because readymades are everywhere now. There is readymade personality, readymade lingo, readymade tourism, readymade palettes of taste, readymade order it at your fingertips and it’ll arrive in two hours; there’s readymade emotion, readymade politics, readymade logic and there’s readymade happiness.

 There’s even a readymade Los Angeles; there are many readymade Los Angeles’. It can be hard though, finding the right one, the best fit. Sometimes readymades just don’t fit. Born and raised in Los Angeles, a certain tie with landscape, time, and memory has always pervaded my psyche when navigating the Palm tree baked streets with my Palm tree baked brain. A flurry of banal worries drop daily atop my head like snow flakes; the sprinkling sparkle dust dances within my follicles, as the sensation takes itself serious for inspiration, and I wonder how this all came to be.

 Los Angeles is a hazy lens to look through, the colors and prescriptions of which can draw a visitor askew, aimless and lonesome. To identify with the city is also to understand its shortcomings. I pine for snow and cobblestones sometimes, thatched roofs and sodden land, brilliant structures of old myths implanted into the ethos of an alternatively American sensibility.

 These sensibilities, colors and prescriptions find form and meaning in the construction and playing-out of their third nature. As if to exhibit previous skins while showing their current one, each work of art presents its process shown alongside its final making. Time as an emotional object plays abstract like a light that wont stop shining.

 The third nature is like the third act. It is the fragment that vies to encompass the whole and it is the peak moment of collective awe. It is the period that inevitably finds the end, even if it resists being found, and it is the point at which the plot breaks, like a levee releasing its burden.

 Life is often lived out as though a play. Indeed, to live well is to know how to play well, for life is as unformed as a work of art, until the process begins and the fates unveil. Each day brings predictions and intentions, estimations of what will be, but until the day is lived, form shan’t take place. We must walk through the tunnel of light, and find ourselves on the other end.


Rodd Zinberg is an artist born and raised in LA. He received his BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design.



Born in Los Angeles, CA

Live and Work in Los Angeles, CA



BFA in Communication Design with a concentration in Illustration, Washington University in St. Louis


MFA in Fine Arts, Otis College of Art and Design


Solo Exhibitions

Master of Fine Art Thesis Show, Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Group Exhibitions

UNICEF Next Gen Art Party, Venice, CA

Potential Bodies, The Space at Otis Grad Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Picnic Invitational, Eagle Rock Recreation Center, Eagle Rock, CA

Shangrila Presents Burrito Deluxe, Joshua Tree, CA

BOOM, den Contemporary, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA

MFA Fine Arts Graduate Group Show, Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Branded Art, Witness to a Dream Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

Santa Monica Studios, Arena One Gallery, Santa Monica Airport. Santa Monica, CA

Narratives and Seriality, Steinberg Gallery, St. Louis, MO


Harnish, Tracey. “13 Questions for Roy Dowell.” Artweek.LA