The man who married plastics and art has died.
De Wain Valentine, who was so obsessed with finding the perfect resin to create his sculptures that he developed his own material, Valentine Maskast Resin No. 1300-17, died Feb. 20 at the age of 86.
As a child in Brooklyn in the 1940s, Valentine loved the potential of plexiglass and polyester so much that he attempted to cook resin in his parents' oven, according to ArtNews.com.
His desire to combine art and technology saw him work with the former Hastings Plastics Co. in Santa Monica, Calif., to develop materials that would flow into just the shapes and textures he imagined.
The Maskast Resin was a modified polyester resin developed so that he could cast colossal objects in a single pour.
Not that art studios and established artists understood his interest.
It took until 1964 to get an art gallery to give him a solo show, and a 1965 stint teaching art at UCLA got him fired, twice, for teaching students how to use plastics rather than paints.
His pieces Gray Column, standing 12 feet high, 8 feet wide and weighing in at 3,500 pounds, has been exhibited at The Getty Museum in California. The Getty has a 30-minute video from 2013 with Valentine talking about his history and the piece.