Nude with Mole, 1995
• coral pink alabaster
• 12” H x 28” W x 11” D (30cm H x 71cm W x 28cm D)
• private collection, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sometimes, a stone does not want to cooperate fully with the artist. Sculptor Michael Binkley purchased a sound block of alabaster that was quarried in the state of Colorado, USA and after communing with the raw stone for a while, he saw a reclining female nude torso inside. However, when he was finished carving this original fine art figurative nude sculpture, an annoying factor was revealed.
Working with the shape of the block and the multi-hued striations, Binkley carved a dynamic female torso reclining on her back. He echoed the wavy stone patterns in the curves and hollows of the nude’s composition. She arches her back and twists up onto her left shoulder which thrusts up and exposes her rib cage. To accentuate this movement, her left leg thrusts upward, too. This, along with the prominent nipples, creates an air of tension and Binkley intended an element of erotica, as the figure seems to be in the throes of a sexual orgasm. The artist managed to centre the nude’s sternum, belly button and vulva so that a dark band of colour swept over and bisected them.
Binkley used the raw edges of the original block for the ends of the female’s legs and neck to emulate ancient classical statuary that has been broken. The overall colour of the alabaster resembles human skin, but an annoying red calcite deposit appeared on the nude’s right thigh. If Binkley removed it, it would have compromised the proportions of the figure, so he begrudgingly left it. But an eerie coincidence was soon realized – Binkley’s wife, Michelle has a mole in the same spot, but on her left thigh….