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Miguel Berrocal was born in 1933 in Malaga, Spain, died in 2006. He studied mathematics and architecture at the University of Madrid and then art in Paris and Rome before settling in Negrar, a suburb of Verona. He presides over a large foundry that casts not only his own work, but also much of the work of other European sculptures. His first sculptures were made from junk iron in the late 1950's. His first deconstructable sculpture was made in 1959. It was also his first torso and consisted of seven pieces. He gradually moved away from large sculptures and towards smaller and more complicated ones. In 1963, he made a torso of Sampson consisting of ten pieces. Sampson was the first of many torsos.
In 1966, he made a torso of David consisting of twenty-three pieces. The genitals of Mini David are the "setting" of a ring. Berrocal incorporated rings and other "surprise" pieces into most of his "puzzle sculptures". For example, Mini Maria has a sub assembly of male genitalia. The penis detaches from the scrotum which then separates to reveal two testicles. An extreme example of this can be found in the Coffinetta of Romeo and Juliet. Its pieces form a complete place setting, including wine glasses and candle holders, for four people. Goliath's genitalia can be assembled with either a circumcised or uncircumcised penis and with or without a fig leaf.
Most of Berrocal's sculptures of interest to puzzle collectors are sold out. There are still a few galleries where several are still available, mostly the "mini" and micro" series. A book, Antologica Berrocal, was published by the Minister of Culture in Spain in 1984 covering all of his works from 1955 to 1984. All of the puzzle sculptures, along with copies of the instructions for assembly, are included in the book. Many of Berrocal's puzzle sculptures from the 1960s and 1970s are still available.
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