The Robert Koch Gallery is pleased to present The North Fork, the first solo exhibition at the gallery for American artist Trent Davis Bailey.
The North Fork is a photographic narrative derived from the artist’s experience of an agricultural valley in western Colorado. Bailey, a Colorado native himself, was drawn to and inspired by the vastness of his home state, its rich agrarian history, and the assorted characters who inhabit the high plains. While living for a period of time in New York City, Bailey developed a yearning for the mountainous landscape he explored as a child, which initially served as a catalyst for this complex body of work. Bailey’s work is driven as much by storytelling as by the artist’s vested self-interest in his family’s history, presenting us with a sense of kinship, community, and wonder in a land of unrelenting beauty.
As Bailey describes, “The North Fork is a place in my imagination. It is also a valley in my home state of Colorado. It is a farmland of mesas and plains sheltered by deep wilderness, precipitous canyons, sloping forests, and ragged peaks.
“When I was seven years old, my dad brought me to the North Fork for the first time. My uncle, aunt, 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, and beyond that a dense forest of juniper trees where I imagined coyotes, black bears, and mountain lions lurked.
“Almost 20 years later, I returned to the North Fork. I have since used photography to piece together a map of my experience of the valley’s landscape and inhabitants – paralleling my own complex terrain of memory and family.” This exhibition comes five years after Bailey’s first return to the North Fork as an adult, marking a distinct point in time for the artist and his evolving relationship with this community and the geography of the American West.
Trent Davis Bailey was born in Denver, Colorado in 1985. 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. In 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) awarded Bailey the Snider Prize, a purchase prize for the Museum’s permanent collection. Most recently, he was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado. Bailey is currently a lecturer in undergraduate photography at the California College of the Arts.