An Interview with Dewain Valentine


When I was a kid I used to collect rocks. I had a friend who was a stone polisher, and he would polish them for me. I think the interest in transparency and such goes way back—I was in junior high school then. Let’s see, that would make it about nineteen fifty . . . fifty . . . Anyway, I was making things. I did a lot of polyester jewelry—cast, transparent things. It’s really tied up with a lot of funny and funky things that go way back.

What happened about the time you got into your earlier big pieces of sculpture like the fiberglass discs? They are opaque, but is that because of the material itself? Also the colors are deep or intense and you use metallic pigments that are necessarily opaque rather than transparent.

I think it was just because when those were made (like Blue Tandem, 1966) it was impossible to cast things of any size. I wanted them to be big so I

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