14 STATIONS AT THE CROSSROADS
The manner in which Dailey has mined his life experiences through art is epitomized in 14 Stations at the Crossroads, an autobiographical series of paired photographic tableaus and paintings linked through the symbolism of corresponding colors. 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 at the Crossroads reveals the full circle of an odyssey beginning in art and later to government and business, and finally back to art. 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.
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. The colors manifest in each station reflect the principal emotion at the time in the decision process being represented. The reflection on and use of color symbolism throughout 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.
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 elements that reference details of the artist’s experiences, including the symbolism evoked through the primary palette of colors used in rendering the floors.
These colors in turn correspond to the respective Stations in the fourteen sequentially paired canvases. The paintings represent a reductionist look at the photographic tableaus in the context of “space and time” and are structured around a metaphorical set of crossroads inset on a dark gray background.
Taken as whole, the elements of color, shape, symbolism, and phraseology in both the photographs and paintings in 14 Stations at 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.