Artist: De Wain Valentine
De Wain Valentine / b. 1936
De Wain Valentine was born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1936. As a child, Valentine loved to play outdoors; he was fascinated by the jewel-like tones and surfaces of the semi-precious stones embedded in rock formations. In high school, an art teacher introduced Valentine to plastics and polyesters, materials that were only recently declassified and shortly thereafter, he began to experiment with the creation of different finishes and mixtures in plastics. Valentine was struck by the forms of artists like Ken Price and Craig Kaufmann who were a part of the Light and Space movement of art taking hold in California in the early 1960s. In 1965, Valentine moved to Los Angeles and he started working with a commercial plastic company, when he invented his own type of plastic resin called Valentine MasKast, which could be cast in a single pouring. He used this resin to create monumental works of art that gleam like the souped-up cars of the California greasers. In 1966, Valentine exhibited his cast sculptures at Ace Gallery, his first one-man show, and in 1979 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held a solo exhibition dedicated to his work.
Valentine’s work is often inspired by the expansive and colorful landscapes of the West Coast, his sculptures capturing what he calls the “transparent colored space” of water and light. Valentine continues to create art from his studio in Southern California to this day.