chicago

Chris Verene

gescheidle

Chris Verene has been documenting family and friends in his hometown of Galesburg, Illinois, since 1984, when he was sixteen years old. A recent exhibition presented forty-four images shot between 1987 and 2006. The idea of an artist creating an extended photographic series about the people and places that surround him is nothing new. We’ve been looking at shots of Nan Goldin’s adopted demimonde and Tina Barney’s well-to-do family for years. But novelty is not what makes Verene’s project worth viewing, nor should it be. On the contrary, his photographs hum with familiarity and constancy, as individual subjects reappear year after year, for better and for worse.

Galesburg is a small city of some thirty-three thousand people, a railroad boomtown that, like many such places, has known better days. The sad histories of its townspeople, as told through Verene’s pictures, hardly surprise: Death,

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