In a dimly lit corner of his Squamish studio, Michael Binkley’s hands dance over a seemingly unremarkable block of stone. To the untrained eye, it's just rock, but for Binkley, it holds a universe of stories, waiting to break free. As his chisel strikes, one can't help but feel the echo of centuries past, where legends like Michelangelo once transformed stone into immortality.
Binkley, a luminary sculptor with over four decades under his belt, didn't always see his future in stone. In his youth, he was swayed by the allure of two-dimensional art, never imagining that his destiny lay in sculpting. But fate led him to the streets of Florence at the age of 20. Among the masterpieces of the Renaissance, it wasn’t Michelangelo’s perfect David that gripped him, but rather the artist's unfinished works. These incomplete marvels whispered of the wonders hidden within raw stone, igniting Binkley’s lifelong passion.
If one could peek into Binkley's dreams, one would likely find him deep in conversation with Michelangelo, discussing the mysteries of the craft that binds them across time. Their shared reverence for revealing the concealed beauty within stone is a testament to the timelessness of their art.
In today’s digital age, where art often faces the risk of being lost in replication, Binkley’s hand-crafted treasures stand as a testament to human ingenuity. Eschewing preliminary sketches, Binkley communicates directly with the stone, letting its secrets dictate the path of his chisel. This balance between intent and instinct results in pieces that aren’t just art—they’re alive. Stone, under Binkley’s touch, becomes fluid, capturing fleeting moments of love, despair, and connection.
“Each sculpture tells a story,” Binkley had once mentioned in a candid conversation with art critic, Pat Love. “Whether it’s a story of love, of struggle, or simply the tale of the stone itself.”
Despite the worldwide acclaim and numerous accolades decorating his illustrious career, Binkley's thirst for innovation remains unquenched. Ask him about his favorite piece, and with a glint in his eye, he’d tell you, “The one I’m working on now.”
But Binkley’s success isn't just a tale of artistic genius. Behind the masterpieces lies an astute entrepreneurial spirit. A majority of his pieces find homes through his self-representation—a rare feat in the competitive art world. He often credits George Pratt, a mentor and family friend, for not just igniting his sculpting passion but teaching him the intricate dance of sustaining art in a commercial world.
For the privileged who have wandered into Binkley's gallery in Squamish, the experience is transformative. On one hand, there are the complete masterpieces—each telling its own tale. But perhaps more intriguing is the glimpse into his sanctum, the studio where stone and story merge.
Today, as we stand amidst the whirlwind of technological advancements, Binkley's sculptures anchor us to the eternal human essence. And for those yearning to witness this alchemy of stone and emotion, the magic he brings into our world will be etched, not only in stone, but in zeros and ones.
Michael Binkley's debut digital collection, 'Elysian Depths | Tales of the Uncharted', was entirely sculpted in the digital realm. This collection was curated by Hussein Hallak, the Founder and CEO of Momentable, and brought to life in collaboration with the talented team at OMP.