Youthful Commodities

title. Youthful Commodities (detail)

medium. mixed media (encaustic image transfer, sardine tins)

dimensions. 36"x58"

price. 10,000

“Youthful Commodities” is a project involving the use of assemblages, encaustics, and forms of printmaking to bring into view a history that has gone mostly forgotten. In the effort to build a reminder of how much suffering and sacrifice has gone to improve American labor standards in the past century, I utilize public domain images taken by Lewis Hine 100 years ago as part of his efforts on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee. This body of work is as much a tribute to his (and fellow activists) efforts as it is to the children the images depict.


One component of this project features hundreds of sardine cans embedded with encaustic image transfers of the children that once labored in the sardine canneries circa 1911-1915. By embedding the images in the cans, devoid of context beyond their expressions, I hope to draw attention to the commoditization of these children. Not only was their labor exploited, but their very childhoods. By mass producing the cans in my studio, I invoke the very industrial output of their labors.


The process of encaustic image transferring is used frequently in my work involving historical issues. This method of printmaking is uncommon, as it’s infamously tedious with unpredictable results. Through years of experimentation I’ve pioneered a method which (while remaining tedious) retains the integrity of the source image and allows me to produce prints on a large scale; something previously impossible with encaustic image transfers.

title. Labor and Management

medium. mixed media (encaustic image transfer, sardine tins, wood, metal)

dimensions. 13"x19"

price. 1,700

title. Laborers

medium. mixed media (encaustic image transfer, sardine tins, wood, metal, burlap)

dimensions. 8"x 6" x 3" (each)

price. 550 (each)

© 2023 by Urban Artist. Proudly created with