• carrara statuario marble
• 36” H x 11” W x 14” D (91cm H x 28cm W x 36cm D)
• private collection, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
This original fine art stone sculpture was inspired by the shape of the original block of marble. Michael Binkley rented studio space at Studio SEM in Pietrasanta, Italy in 2006 and spotted a piece of statuario marble in one of the dumpsters. It is considered gauche to use garbage for art in Italy, but Binkley wasn’t going to let that stop him from making something beautiful from what another considered trash!
The piece looked somewhat like a very high-backed chair, but Binkley wondered if he turned it upside down, could he make a sculpture that draped over the edge of a surface? It was, after all, a piece of statuario marble, the most coveted variety of white marble from the quarries above Carrara, Italy and had just a hint of striations in it so the viewer would know it was a natural material.
Binkley conceived a composition of a male nude, enfolded in deep thought in a crouched position, but with his right leg extended over the edge of his seated surface. The sculptor utilized the extra marble by creating a length of drapery that mysteriously appears from the figure’s waist and covers his right leg, but the viewer can see it beneath the fabric.
One can see the influence Rodin has on Binkley’s work evident here in the way he has modelled the male nude’s hands, left foot, head and body. Binkley has not undercut the details extensively, but instead have softened the features.
Binkley gave the sculpture a silky smooth matte finish, which allows the marble to hold shadows effectively. The surfaces are wonderful to the touch, and the material of natural marble is revealed, yet light does not reflect off the sculpture. Statuario marble is a favourite of Binkley’s, as he feels the way light reacts with this particular variety of Carrara marble is stunning.
This sculpture is sold and in the collection of a patron in West Vancouver, BC, Canada.