Christopher Phillip Verene (born October 29, 1969) is an American fine arts and documentary photographer and performance artist.
Verene was born in DeKalb, Illinois, and is the son of the philosopher Donald Verene. He spent his teens and twenties in Atlanta, Georgia and studied art at Georgia State University. Verene moved to Brooklyn in 1999. In 2000, he was included the Whitney Biennial with his 1998 series Camera Club and the performance installation piece, The Self-Esteem Salon. That same year his monograph about Galesburg and his mother’s family in the Georgia and Florida, Chris Verene, was published by Twin Palms Press. The New York Times reviewed his self-titled book in 2000. “Chris Verene is this year’s most appealing newcomer, a diamond in the rough whose square color pictures record his family and friends in candid, unvarnished fashion. The book gets its gritty grip on reality by sticking to place, which happens to be Galesburg. The tacky interiors, worn clothes and forlorn expressions in the pictures suggest that all is not well in Galesburg, but Verene adds a commentary that tries its best to be upbeat and compassionate. The effect is reminiscent of Mark Goodman’s visual diary of life in Millerton, N.Y., A Kind of History, which was published without fanfare a year ago. But the larger shadow hanging over Verene’s work belongs to Diane Arbus, which is not a bad thing”.