White Horse Wave, 2006
• carrara bianco marble
• 16” H x 25” W x 9” D (41cm H x 63cm W x 23cm D)
• private collection, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michael Binkley carved this dramatic original fine art stone sculpture of a galloping horse from a block of Carrara marble. This particular variety of white marble is called bianco, which is Italian for “white.” There is a bit of grey mottling in the stone, just enough to let the viewer know is was made by Mother Nature and is not a man-made material. Carrara marble was the only stone Michelangelo insisted upon carving during his life.
Because stone legs cannot support a body the way real flesh and bone ones can, Binkley left raw material between the horse’s legs. This gives the sculpture support, but also gives the illusion that it is galloping, or exploding out of the marble block. Binkley carved the body, head and tail of the animal in the round, but the legs are in high relief. However, there is enough detail to illustrate a wildlife equine galloping at full speed. The horse’s mane and tail are whipping in the wind, and its bulging muscles are evident.
Binkley carved fluted lines in the marble webbing that trail from the legs of the horse. These add to the sense of movement and liken the raw stone to water. Mariners refer to whitecap waves as “white horses” and this was the inspiration for the sculpture’s title. “White Horse Wave” has garnered a lot of positive attention and those who visit the gallery love to stoke its back and mane.