Igor Mitoraj was born in 1944 in Oederan, in the Saxony region of Germany. He studied painting at the Kraków School of Art and at the Kraków Academy of Art in Kraków, Poland, and at the National School of Art in Paris, France. In the late 1960s, fascinated by the art of Latin American and ancient cultures, he spent a year exploring and painting in Mexico. It was there that he first discovered and experimented with sculpture.

In 1983, Mitoraj moved to Pietrasanta, Italy, and set up a studio in an area known for its large-scale foundries, as well as the quarries which once supplied Michelangelo with marble. Though ancient cultures have had a clear influence on his work, Mitoraj did not attempt to copy ancient sculptures, but instead combines ideas from these classical pieces with influences from his experiences to create his unique style.

Mitoraj's work can be found in the world's most renowned collections. The celebrated artist is best known for his monumental public creations, many featuring fragmented body parts adorning key locations in countries including Britain, France and Italy. They are displayed in front of the British Museum in London, England; La Scala in Milan, Italy; the Bobola Gardens in Florence, Italy; the Olympic Park in Geneva, Switzerland; the Abuta Sculpture Park on Hokkaido Island, Japan; and the Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside, California

He died October 6, 2014.