Miss Biggs Pedals to Market, 1993
• carrara statuario marble & glass
• 14” H x 18” W x 8” D (36cm H x 46cm W x 20cm D)
• private collection, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michael Binkley carved this original fine art female nude marble sculpture as part of his “Rubenesque” series of figurative works that are meant to bring a smile to the viewer’s face. This piece is a robust gal pedaling her bicycle to market. Her pose tells the whole story and Binkley only described the bicycle by carving two wheels of glass. The bicycle frame is conjoured in the viewer’s imagination. The wind rushes through Miss Biggs hair, her ample bosom almost hides the handlebars and her large bottom oozes over the back of the seat. She is smiling in anticipation of what delicious goodies she’ll discover when she gets to the market.
Binkley carved this sculpture from a variety of white marble called statuario which comes from the famous quarries above the famous town of Carrara, Italy. This marble is recognized internationally as the finest statuary carving marble in the world for its almost pure white colour. However, Michael likes when a stone has some character of colour pattern, and this one had a lick of grey veining that he incorporated into the right thigh of the figure. The whole sculpture is mounted on a black marble base.
Binkley used a matte finish on this sculpture so the surfaces were silky smooth to the touch, but the marble could hold shadow effectively. He feels that this type of surface treatment is crucial for his figurative works, as shadows describe the details of the composition instead of reflecting light as a polished surface would.