Artist Projects

Spook™


Kenseth Armstead

Spook™ shares and celebrates the life of historical figure James Armistead Lafayette, a slave-turned-spy who provided intelligence to help end the American Revolution. After extensive historical research, the artist re-tells the story through a variety of contemporary media formats, including hand-drawn images, collage, performance-based work and HD video production. Armstead specifically focuses on three months in 1781, when James was successfully working as a double agent for America’s first Director of Central Intelligence, George Washington. Episodes include his first mission for Washington, under the command of the Marquis Lafayette, and James’s dangerous compact with the most feared British General, Lord Charles Cornwallis. This re-mixed take on the story of the American Revolution forces the viewer to examine whether all of our history has been told. James, a lost hero, is drawn in context, for the first time, as a fully realized character. The artist invites the viewer to join him in ambitiously inserting an African Founding Father into the pantheon of heroes traditionally celebrated on July 4th.

Project Updates

  • 2012: Armstead completes 100+ page graphic novel on Spook™

  • 2011: Armstead premieres Spook™ in Spook™: INVOCATION at LMAKprojects in New York

  • 2010: Armstead is at work on the graphic novel, Spook™ INVOCATION

  • 2010: Footage from Spook™ is included in the documentary feature Lafayette: The Lost Hero

  • 2010: An iteration of Spook™ is featured as a working film set at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ