Manel Àlvarez was born in Sant Feliu de Codines (Barcelona, Spain) in 1945. He studied art in the San Juan Bosco School in Barcelona and began sculpting religious figures in wood. He continued to make sculpture after finishing the program and also worked as an industrial and interior designer. His success in these ventures afforded him the time and money to dedicate himself entirely to sculpture.
On a scholarship from the Pagani Foundation in Milan, he went to Carrara, Italy where he began working in marble for the first time. Working with marble and the daily contact with sculptors of differing levels of experience, combined to gradually transform his work; there was a simplification from the neoclassical to a more personal style, synthesising human and organic forms.