David Cortes is the sculptor for the Spider-Man Forest Hills project.
He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He attributes his creativity to the energy and diversity of New York City. He studied at the School of Visual Arts, and currently teaches traditional and digital sculpture there.
He started his career building models for toys and cartoons. Over the years, he has created an impressive body of work, including the Captain America statue in Brooklyn, that was dedicated by Eric Adams, then Brooklyn Borough President.
His company, Cortes Studio in Brooklyn (www.cortesstudio.com), does a broad range of projects. He is known for his animation figures. His clients include Marvel, DC Comics, Disney, and MacFarlane Toys.
We are very fortunate that David has agreed to be the creative vision and sculptor for Spider-Man Forest Hills.
David wanted the statue to pay tribute to the original creators of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.
Stan Lee conceptualized Spider-Man. Steve Ditko was the artist that created Spider-Man’s iconic look and brought it to life. The inspiration for the Spider-Man Forest Hills statue comes from the original comic books, beginning in 1962 through 1966, the Lee/Ditko era.
David and Larry envisioned the statue for the children, families and Spider-Man fans. We wanted it to be life size, approachable and photo worthy. Also, it had to be dynamic and exciting. It must bring joy, happiness, and smiles to those who see it.
The Creative Process
David started by sculpting the model in clay. He says you don’t really get to impart the human form, energy, and movement without feeling and molding it with your hands.
Once the clay model was done, it was 3D scanned to create a digital model. The model was further sculpted digitally on the computer with additional elements and details. This was a lengthy and iterative process to make sure there was enough detail so that an enlarged life size statue would look good. Also, the statue needed to be properly designed so that when it is cast in bronze, it is structurally sound, safe, and may be easily transported.
The digital model was then 3D printed 20 inches high. The printed model was manually polished and painted in bronze with a patina to highlight the details. Overall, the entire process to conceptualize, design and fabricate a model of the Spider-Man statue took several months to do.
3D Printed Model
David thought Spider-Man hanging off a 1960’s NYC classic lamppost would be thrilling to see.
Spider-Man Forest Hills will be unlike the traditional standing poses of other super-heroes. After all, Spider-Man clings off objects like a spider.
It is just more fun and exciting having Spider-Man in the air than on the ground.
The top of the lamppost has street signs honoring Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. The signs pay homage to Spider-Man’s legendary creators.
Early on, beginning with the Amazing Spider-Man Issue #7, the creators made Forest Hills the hometown of Spider-Man and Peter Parker.
Spider-Man hanging off a lamppost in Forest Hills will pay tribute to his creators and celebrate Spider-Man's history with his friendly neighborhood, Forest Hills.
We are building grassroots, community support for this project. Please leave a comment on this website if you want to voice your support and interest in
Spider-Man Forest Hills.