INFERNO, Churner and Churner, February 7th - March 16th 2013


Kenseth Armstead’s INFERNO is a series of graphic novel–inspired drawings that depict the true life story of the slave turned spy James Armistead Lafayette. The drawings explore intimately the journey of Armistead Lafayette from the plantation to becoming a double agent on the front lines of the American Revolution.


INFERNO is a first person investigation of the African-American experience inside the Revolution from the perspective of an historical figure, opening up the war, for the first time, to a new cast of heroes. Armistead Lafayette's task to provide information and disinformation has been mostly lost to history. Describing Armstead’s drawings, critic Mayukh Sen has written that the story is “alive in every frame, from detailed humanistic close-ups of Armistead to lush renders of landscape. … [The project] fosters the sort of complex historical dialogue that some of the greatest graphic novels of the modern era, from Maus to Persepolis, has ignited.” Like Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, INFERNO is a combination of political history and social memoir.