Trent Davis Bailey (b. 1985, Denver, Colorado) is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bailey received his MFA from the California College of the Arts, and his BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the recipient of the 2015 Snider Prize from the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Illinois. Bailey’s work has been exhibited extensively in California and Colorado, including at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, Southern Exposure in San Francisco, and the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver, among others. This spring he was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. He is represented by Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, California.
The North Fork
The North Fork is a long-term body of work exploring memory, community, and kinship in an agricultural valley in the artist’s home state of Colorado. When Bailey was seven years old, his father brought him to the North Fork for the first time. His aunt, his uncle, and their seven kids lived there in a large rectangular army tent assembled at the base of a mountain. Their backyard had three ponds and a garden where they grew their own food. “Beyond that,” Bailey says, “was a dense forest of juniper trees where I imagined coyotes, black bears, and mountain lions lurked.”
Bailey envied his cousins’ freedoms and he marveled at the diverse scenery surrounding them. “Their world was so open and exposed,” he says. “It seemed as if they were on a never-ending adventure that was both exciting and terrifying.” Unbeknownst to Bailey, his father and his uncle were having personal disputes, which led to a falling out. With broken family ties, Bailey never went back to the valley as a boy, but his memories of it remained.
Almost 20 years later, he returned to the North Fork. Photography has since been a way for Bailey to piece together a map of his experience of the valley’s landscape and inhabitants—paralleling his own complicated terrain of memory and family.
To see more of Trent’s work, check out his website.