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Google Helps Brooklyn Artist Bring New Founding Father to Life

For Brooklyn artist Kenseth Armstead, the discovery of a founding father that history forgot began with a Google search of his own name. In 2004, Armstead stumbled on the story of a slave-turned-spy who lived during the American Revolution. James Armistead Lafayette was no relation, but he was the inspiration for Kenseth Armstead's graphic novel. The graphite-on-paper drawings from the book are on view as part of a show called "SPOOK: Invocation" at the LMAKprojects gallery.

The show is Armstead's first solo gallery exhibition in New York. He said he turned James Armistead Lafayette's story into a graphic novel rather than a film because it was way more cost effective.

"I had written a screenplay, but I could not raise $20 million, oddly enough," Armstead joked of one of the projects previous iterations. "I think it's an amazing story, a lot of people think it's an amazing story, but to make a story like this in a film, the budget would be a cast of thousands."

"SPOOK: Invocation" is on view at LMAKprojects in the Lower East Side through August 1.

"Muzzle Mouth" by Kenseth Armstead
"Muzzle Mouth" by Kenseth Armstead ( Courtesy of Kenseth Armstead )
Installation view of "SPOOK: Invocation" at LMAKprojects. The gallery is open from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Friday, or by appointment.
Installation view of "SPOOK: Invocation" at LMAKprojects. The gallery is open from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Friday, or by appointment. ( Courtesy of the artist and LMAKprojects )
"Tents" by Kenseth Armstead
"Tents" by Kenseth Armstead ( Courtesy of Kenseth Armstead )
"James Meets Lafayette" by Kenseth Armstead
"James Meets Lafayette" by Kenseth Armstead ( Courtesy of Kenseth Armstead )
"Night Run" by Kenseth Armstead
"Night Run" by Kenseth Armstead ( Courtesy of Kenseth Armstead )
"Bloody Chitterlings" by Kenseth Armstead
"Bloody Chitterlings" by Kenseth Armstead ( Courtesy of Kenseth Armstead )
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