Genesis 2:22, 2000
• carrara statuario marble & granite
• 22” H x 19” W x 19” D (56cm H x 48cm W x 48cm D)
• private collection, New York, NY, USA
The title of this sculpture comes from the Book of Genesis in the Bible and passage 2:22 realtes to God taking the rib from Adam and making Eve. The male and female nude torso figures of the sculpture represent Adam and Eve. Michael Binkley carved the two figures from a single block of marble.
Binkley began the sculpture by carving the torsos together, with their ribcages touching. At the right moment, Binkley drove a chisel between the figures and broke them apart. This left a small area of rough stone between the torsos. The sculptor finished carving and polishing the two figures separately, and then mounted them in such a fashion so that they could move and the broken surfaces would fit perfectly together. This was a symbolic way to describe the story of the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib.
Although they are only torsos with no extremities, Binkley has created a sense of dynamism and motion in the figures with their poses. Adam seems to be stepping out of the granite base, his right shoulder rising upwards. Eve is striding forward and twists to the left, her right shoulder rising upwards as well. She appears to be celebrating her new form and freedom once away from Adam.
Binkley carved the nudes from a variety of white marble called statuario, which comes from the famous quarries of Carrara, Italy. The name is Italian for statuary, and it has been coveted for centuries as the finest marble for sculptures. The sculptor left the surfaces of the sculpture a matte finish, which allows the marble to successfully hold shadows.
Binkley loves using white marble for his figurative nudes for two reasons. The monochromatic colour allows the form of the sculpture to stand out and the way light falls on this particular marble is exquisite. The stone is slightly translucent, and light makes the edges of any sculpture glow.