The Spanish artist Miguel Ortiz Berrocal was born in 1933 in Villanueva de Algaidas (Malaga).
He studies Chemistry, Mathematics and Architecture in Madrid and is a student of the sculptor Angel Ferrant. As an auditor, he also attends courses at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Escuela de Artes y Oficios and the Escuela de Artes Graficas.
In 1952, several of his works are exhibited in Madrid for the first time. Two years later, in 1954, he is commissioned to represent Spain as a painter at the Biennale in Venice.
1955 sees him working on his first iron sculptures. The quest for new ways to express himself as a sculptor as well as the intensification of the sculptural forms' dialectics encourage the artist to consider modularity a functional principle of the sculpture.
Following the more closed and archaic, very large works established in the 50ies, Berrocal starts to design sculptures of a smaller size and, almost in contrast to previous works, develops an inclination towards preciousness and refined aesthetics, which should become typical for his work in the 60ies. The technical effort required to realise these sculptures has an influence on the artist's decision in favour of the multiple sculpture (i.e. in multiple editions).
In the second half of the 70ies, the idea of disassembling a form into individual elements is further pursued and developed: the sculpture turns into a combination of individual parts that can either be integrated in a more complex unit or stand alone for themselves. A typical example of this technique is the series of the variations on the theme of Arcimboldo.
Between 1981 and 1982, Berrocal starts working on one of his most important works: the "Almogavares" - ten large torsos of mythic warriors, each based around a centre of iron that is made of an antique anvil.