Robert Craig Kauffman was born in 1932 in Los Angeles. He first studied architecture at the University of Southern California and then transferred to UCLA to pursue painting, completing his MA in 1956. Initially an abstract painter, he showed his work at Felix Landau Gallery and then regularly at Ferus Gallery. In 1964 he began experimenting with plastics and even sought out craftsmen at commercial factories to learn the technique. These glossy, industrial plastics, sometimes referred to as “bubbles,” were painted to appear as ethereal sculptures protruding from the wall.