“Hell is Hot” at SHRINE

Opening reception: Thursday, August 25th, 6 – 9 pm.
Following the hottest month on record, Shrine is excited to launch Hell is Hot, a short-run, end of summer exhibition featuring Alabama self-taught artist, W.C. Rice (1930-2004), and New York City scavenger punk, James Concannon (b.1986, San Francisco). Religious beliefs, thoughts on divinity and concepts of salvation take many forms. These two artists appropriate and make use of Christian iconography in strikingly different ways; however, both pointedly engage with a fire and brimstone approach to religion centered around confrontation and foreboding.
William Carlton Rice, a house painter by trade, was “saved” by God and healed of a severely ulcerated stomach on the night of April 24th, 1960 (John Foster, spacearchives.org). Following this otherworldly intervention, Rice began work on the Miracle Cross Garden, a three-acre art environment surrounding his small home that housed hundreds of handmade, white-painted crosses dabbed with blood-red paint and obsessive signage proclaiming “Hell is Hot Hot Hot” and “Sex Pit Hypocrites in Hell from Sex.” As a self-proclaimed minister, Rice was instinctive with his religion: “I got a lot of Catholic stuff in here, but I don’t know nothing about it, all I know is the cross” (Burgin Matthews, 2008).

James Concannon’s approach to art and life is very different from W.C. Rice’s world vision, but his work is just as caustic and complicated. Considering himself a “scavenger cockroach,” Concannon is always on the hunt for found materials, often salvaging items from the bottom of trash dumpsters or recycling objects found curbside in front of strangers’ home. His art is intense, sometimes off-putting and darkly compelling.

Start Date

August 25, 2016

End Date

September 4, 2016


12:00 PM - 06:00 PM


SHRINE, 191 Henry St, NYC 10002

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