Trent Davis Bailey

The North Fork

With an essay by Rebecca Solnit and a poem by David Mason

In his The North Fork monograph, Trent Davis Bailey looks to a remote river valley in western Colorado. A Colorado native himself, the artist was drawn to the vastness of his home state, its rich agrarian history, and the assorted characters who inhabit the Western Slope. He was especially curious about his extended family who used to live there — an aunt, uncle, and cousins — who he hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years. Describing his childhood memories of them, he says: “They lived in a large tent at the base of a mountain. Their backyard had three ponds and a garden where they grew their own food. Beyond that was a dense forest of scrub oak and juniper trees where I imagined coyotes, black bears, and mountain lions lurked.” Bailey marveled over his cousins’ world, but due to a falling out between his father and his uncle, he only visited the North Fork a few times as a child. In 2011, Bailey returned to the valley and for the next seven years he used photography to piece together his experience of the North Fork and its inhabitants. In due time, he not just found his extended family, but he rekindled ties with them while forging his own place within the local community. Then one fateful day, while foraging for mushrooms, he met his now wife with whom he has two children. Collectively, the photographs in this book are informed by that backstory, but they also go well beyond it: conjuring up their own associations of place, food, kinship, and wonder.

Edition of 750 copies. Paper-over-board slipcase. Softcover with thread-stitched signatures and rough linen. Designed by Victor Balko.

Trent Davis 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 and a 2014 Atlantic Philanthropies Grant awarded by the Magnum Foundation. In 2016, he was an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and a lecturer in the photography program at the California College of the Arts. His work has been exhibited internationally and is held in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among others.

The Denver Art Museum will present 32 photographs from Trent Davis Bailey’s “The North Fork” in what will be the artists largest exhibition to date. “Personal Geographies: Trent Davis Bailey | Brian Adams”, opens on July 30, 2023 and will be on view until February 11, 2024.⁣

1st Edition
12.5 x 10.2 inches
96 Pages
48 color plates
Trespasser, 2023

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