Manuel Àlvarez was born in Sant Feliu de Codines (Barcelona) on August 6 1945. In 1963 he was admitted to the Los Salesianos Vocational Schools in Sarrià for clay modelling and sculpture workshop studies. From 1968 to 1971 he focused on various activities in connection with statue making, religious images, relief work, busts, and ornamental carving. He also worked professionally in interior and industrial design, leading major projects. His first solo exhibition as a sculptor was in 1971. In 1975 he travelled to Carrara Italy on a scholarship from Fundazione Pagani. There, with his first contact with marble he experienced a rapid evolution in his work through the gradual discovery of marble.
Manuel Àlvarez has exhibited in various countries throughout the world and has received commissions for public monuments not only in his native country Spain but in France, Italy, Germany, Brazil and the United States. In 1996 he was commissioned two sculptures in conjunction with the International Olympic Games in Atlanta. Dance of Peace is located in the Fulton County Judicial Center, Atlanta and Covering Spaces at the University of Georgia in Athens. Manuels work has also been selected by organizations including Ford Motor Company, CNN, Nestle, Uriach Laboratories, Salvat Laboratories, Al Campo, Roche Diagnostics, Bassat-Ogilvy and Mather, as well as the Royal House of Spain. After completing a collection inspired in Africa he is currently developing a series based on the Old Testament.
"I consider myself a classic sculptor in the sense that I use traditional materials and methods of working. Mainly I work in stone, wood, iron and bronze. I could also describe myself as an eclectic sculptor because I will use whatever material or technique necessary to express myself or to develop an idea. I continue to try new techniques and to work with materials that I have never used before.
My pieces are easily recognizable because I have developed a style that is unique in the forms and lines. I try to convey a sense of weightlessness through the use of line. The lines define the volumes and create the rhythm which gives this illusion. It is a personal style which has evolved over 40 years and continues to do so.
My greatest inspiration is the beauty in everyday life. I find inspiration while traveling and from life experiences. At random, something makes an impact on me and I am inspired. Immediately I begin to sketch an idea which will later become a sculpture. I attempt to capture the essence or the energy of an object and try to give birth to the spirit; the soul of an object.
I am so passionate about what I do because I never stop learning."
~ Manel A’lvarez