Manta Ray, 2015

• portoro macchia marble & glass
• 13” H x 7” W x 7” D (33cm H x 18cm W x 13cm D)
• $ 650.00 US

michael binkley sculptor sculpture original fine art gallery manta ray wildlife

michael binkley sculptor sculpture original fine art gallery manta ray wildlife

michael binkley sculptor sculpture original fine art gallery manta ray wildlife

Michael Binkley carved this manta ray from portoro macchia marble that was quarried at La Spezia, Italy. Binkley mounted it on a glass base with a napped edge to emulate splashing water. The manta ray is attached by a stainless steel pin and is free to turn on or be removed from the base.

Binkley finds these fish fascinating, and thinks they look like an alien spaceship. These unusual fish use their long pectoral fins like birds use their wings, and “fly” underwater. The artist has mounted the manta ray to seem like it is banking in  a turn. At this small scale, the artist could not fully release the cephalic lobes of the ray, but rather they are in high relief and still visible. One has to imagine the fish’s thin tail.

Portoro macchia is Italian for “carrying stain” and refers to the gold-like flames of striations that run through the midnight black marble. This colouration is actually an oxidization and not really gold. However, the stone is very elegant and has been used extensively as a symbol of power in architecture and utilitarian objects. It has been used for counters in banks, as fireplace surrounds in mansions, and for ladies consoles as well as for executive pen set bases. The quarry in Italy has run dry, so this marble is quickly becoming rare to find.

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Michael Binkley