Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Michael Binkley has been a professional artist for over 40 years and maintains his gallery and studio in Squamish, BC, Canada. Binkley works in a wide range of stone, scale and idiom, though his favourite subject for his compositions is the human nude.
Binkley's initial inspiration to turn to stone sculpture occurred in 1980 while he was in Florence, Italy. He encountered Michelangelo's four unfinished "Captives" at the Accademia di Belle Arti, which struck a chord deep inside him. He discovered he was able to see finished sculptures hidden in the stone and from that moment, a transformation began which has shaped the soul of an Artist.
Since his experience with the "Captives," Binkley's desire to create has been continuous and prolific. His passion is for the human form, and this can be seen in a wide range of gorgeous sculptures ranging from stylized to representational. He also creates images of Wildlife and pure Abstract forms. Inspiration for his sculptures comes from his life experiences and observations and it is a rare moment when his sensors are turned off. The sensory joy one experiences from feeling a polished stone is something no other material can provide. There is an ancient, primal link between Man and stone, and few viewers can resist the urge to run their hand over Binkley's sculptures. Sculpture occupies space in our world and allows for a deeper connection through the sense of touch.
Binkley strives to create sculpture which will seduce the viewer's eye, stir the soul, and entice the viewer to touch. He carves as much of the details of a particular subject as he can, without sacrificing the flowing, graceful lines which typify his style. He is a widely collected artist with a diverse and versatile sculpting talent. His work over the years has proved to have a universal appeal. His work can be found in private, corporate and public collections on every continent and he has over 40 exhibitions to his credit.
Binkley has worked internationally to create sculptures in the USA, Italy, China and Spain.
I want to reconnect individuals to their primal instinct of touch. The sensory experience of touch is quickly de-programmed in most of us during childhood. ‘Don’t touch’ is a phrase often spoken to a child during formative years, and we learn that it is almost taboo to touch objects. This imposed societal constraint pushes our desire to touch to a deep place within us and sculpture is one means to resurface that instinct. Stone sculpture is the oldest art form known to Man and if I can entice a viewer to want to touch one of my sculptures, I feel I have succeeded in making a good art work.
When carving sculpture, I try to pay as much attention to the finishing of the piece as I do to the design – different textures are integral to the piece itself, as it supports my desire to have people touch my work as part of their interaction with a particular piece.
In our contemporary world of ‘conceptual art’ as popular art form, I believe there is a missing piece that dismisses line and form, positive and negative space and composition of a discrete sculpture, which I feel is truly valuable in aiding an individual’s interaction with art through touch.