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Get Happy in the West Loop

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 11, 2008 3:17PM

2008_04_verene.jpgChris Verene knows that sometimes you just need to feel good, and his magical art show’s gonna get you there. The Self-Esteem Salon (note: one photo is NSFW) returns this weekend to the West Loop, a three-day live-in experience that’s one part performance art, one part role play, and one part therapy session, totaling one of the most elaborate games of make-believe you're likely to see, or experience, in an art space.

For the last decade, Verene’s attentive staff has catered to “clients” in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami art spaces and private residences. They discuss their aspirations and what’s holding them back. Then, they develop elaborate scenarios with costumed improvised performance, many involving medical professionals and religious officiates. The endeavors are documented for future gallery shows and lively party conversation. Salon alum have come of age, furthered their modeling careers and found a place to be truly happy.

If all that sounds too new agey for you, a more conventional display of Verene’s photos and video will be around for the next month. Gescheidle is an art gallery after all.

Chris Verene’s Self-Esteem Salon opens tonight, 6-9 p.m., and exhibits Wednesdays- Saturdays through May 3 at Gescheidle, 1039 West Lake.