The manner in which Dailey has mined his life experiences in his artwork is epitomized in 14 Stations of the Crossroads, an autobiographical series of paired photographs and paintings. The series is a narrative of the artist’s journey and a portrayal of the decisions that helped define his identity and character. When viewed in its totality, 14 Stations of the Crossroads reveals the full circle of an odyssey beginning in art and later to government and business, and finally back to art. Each one of the 14 Stations as a diachronic narrative identifies the environmental context of Dailey’s life at that stage and reflects the perpetual process of self-realization and development that came with each decision.

14 Stations at the Crossroads consists of two separate but interwoven series of photographs and paintings linked through corresponding colors. The photographic tableaus begin with Dailey’s youthful immersion into art and culminate in Station 14 with the return to the art world. In between these two crossroads are the many other paths explored in chronological stages. Embedded throughout these narratives are symbols that reference the details of the artist’s experiences. An added dimension of symbolism is evoked in the use of floors rendered in a primary palette of colors. The colors reflect the principal emotion at the time in the decision process represented in the specific station. The reflection on and use of color symbolism for the series is informed by Goethe’s Theory of Color as well as the contemporary understanding of the psychology of color on the human mind and individual emotion. Digging deeper into the various stations in the narrative arc, one finds hints of, if not the cause for, each pivotal point in the artist’s journey.

The corresponding paintings on canvas in the series are structured around a metaphorical set of crossroads inset on a dark gray background. They represent a reductionist look at the photographic tableaus in the context of “space and time.” Matching colors are interwoven between the photographs and the paintings, which are incorporated in a sequential manner to link the corresponding Stations.

Taken as whole, the elements of color, shape, symbolism, and phraseology in both the photographs and paintings in 14 Stations of the Crossroads provide an insight into the cause and environmental reality for each of those moments in Dailey’s odyssey and exploration into the concept of individual being and the space and time in which they occur. As such, the series aims to provoke in the viewer the same spirit of reflection, curiosity, and engagement that were motivating factors for the artist.

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