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The Dynamic Wooden Sculptures of Dave Cortes

The personal work of Brooklyn-born sculptor Dave Cortes is forged from varying types of woods and precious metals. These pieces, whether a dramatic face distorted from brute force or a quieter, grotesque mediation, “represent an encapsulated moment of inspiration,” Cortes says. The artist has created commercial work for DC Comics, Sideshow Toys, Toy Biz, and MacFarlane Toys.

The personal work of Brooklyn-born sculptor Dave Cortes is forged from varying types of woods and precious metals. These pieces, whether a dramatic face distorted from brute force or a quieter, grotesque mediation, “represent an encapsulated moment of inspiration,” Cortes says. The artist has created commercial work for DC Comics, Sideshow Toys, Toy Biz, and MacFarlane Toys.





In a statement on his personal website, Cortes explains where his inspiration is rooted: “The variety of my sculptures are a constant reminder that I’m only in control of my technique, that the subject will find me and the materials are determined by that subject,” Cortes says, in a statement. “My job is to stay open and in tuned to the ideas that continue to move me.”




The punishment-taking busts weigh 100 pounds each, and each has its own wood, like black walnut, hard maple, and zebra wood. The ogre “Simple Man” is close to 1,000 pounds and crafted in hard maple, resin, copper, bronze, and fur. Both black walnut and purpleheart are used for “Rompe Cabeza,” with its 24-karat gold interior.





Cortes Studio, the artist’s commercial business, is based in Brooklyn. The 3-artist studio creates hand-sculpted models and digital models that depict superheroes, film characters, and other pop culture figures. Cortes is also an instructor of sculpture, traditional and digital, at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

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