From wearing designated NFL team colors, to using whichever palette he desires for creating his art, Brian Poli-Dixon proves his indisputable talents spill off the gridiron and onto the canvas.
Despite possessing exceptional natural athleticism, this Tuc-son, Arizona native did not begin his football career until he was a sophomore in high school. Cultivating a quick passion for the game and relishing the energy bestowed upon the players, Poli-Dixon improved swiftly and was offered a college scholarship to play anywhere he chose, ultimately deciding on UCLA (The University of California, Los Angeles). Although in California to play football, Brian’s aspirations to major in art lingered and selecting this location offered prime opportunities in that field.
As a UCLA Bruin, Brian entered his senior year considered to be one of the top receivers in the country, and thus a candidate for the Fred Biletnikoff Award which is given to the most outstanding receiver in American college football. While attending the NFL Combine after college expecting to get drafted, Brian’s world was forever changed. A dreadful tear of the left hamstring halted his momentum, causing Poli-Dixon to proceed as a free agent, which culminated in the San Diego Chargers offering a contract.
“I was signed with the team knowing I was headed straight into rehab for my leg. Going from a top draftee to missing that opportunity due to such a trauma, put me behind the eight-ball both mentally and physically. I wish I had the opportunity to maximize my potential, but trying to play wide receiver in the NFL with that injury is near impossible.”
Brian was part of the National Football
League from 2002 – 2006, joining the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints after leaving the Chargers.
When the cleats were tucked away for good, developing a personal training business in South Florida was a way for Poli-Dixon to remain active and help others achieve their physical goals. However satisfying, Brian found himself circling back to his artistic dreams.
When he was named as one of thirty finalists for the show Big Brother, Poli-Dixon flew to L.A. and was told to bring something that would occupy a large amount of time. Production informed him that hopeful contestants would be alone for twenty hours a day with no one to converse with other than the television crew. Brian opted to take paints and related accessories to keep busy with, and although he did not secure a spot on the series, this time allowed his creative skills to be revived. In 2013, art became Brian’s main focus, and only four years later he breathed life into the Genius brand which has been shown locally and internationally. Most recently during Art Basel Miami, Poli-Dixon was given the Best New Exhibiting Artist Award at the Spectrum / Red Dot Art Fair.
“Genius started as a character. Constantly writing and doodling, I painted the word Genius on the forehead of a self-portrait. The concept is that you want to explore what’s special about you and share that with as many people as possible. These unique qualities which I strive to demonstrate through my craft morphed into the brand.”
The US in Genius, is usually portrayed in a different color than the rest of the word, highlighting Brian’s all-inclusive beliefs in a lifestyle that everyone, regardless of their background, should strive to maximize their fullest life potential.
“Existing is about finding what your purpose is, and that transcends all time periods, decades… with everything going on in the world it’s important to explore and get outside of your comfort zone to find what’s inspiring to you.”
Whereas football is the ultimate team pastime, and painting can be rather isolating, Brian says the work ethic he re-fined playing sports has carried through.
“While everyone has their own jobs to do on the field, you are held accountable to other people. In sports the best person plays, it’s not about status or buzz you develop off the field. But in the art industry, you’re selling more of yourself… it can be a tricky platform to navigate.”
Pulling stimulus from greats such as Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Brian describes his work as contemporary abstract, but won’t limit himself to one style. Poli-Dixon says he is always painting, even if not in the studio… analyzing and being open to everything around him as inspiration.
“Even if I don’t actively have a brush in my hand, my mind is working on a painting. I think as an artist you see the world a bit differently. Travel, experiences, people… it’s all there subconsciously channeled. To materialize my ideas I use mainly acrylics, spray paint, and oils while constructing my bold, colorful works that are meant to jump off the wall… and hopefully, spark light inside you.”
Poli-Dixon has a new studio dubbed, The House of Genius, which is a 4,000 sq. ft. open area where he can work on more than one piece at a time, and will also serve as his gallery.
“My favorite part of the process is when my painting is finally hanging on someone’s wall… that’s the full-circle moment. I truly enjoy the task of turning nothing into something meaningful and being relaxed in the uncomfortableness of not knowing exactly how it’s going to end up. When an individual has my work displayed in their personal or professional space and it becomes a portion of their ecosystem, to me that is when I feel fulfilled.”
Brian says he isn’t slowing down anytime soon and has plans for an art showing later this year.
“Going into 2022, I’m exploring my art having a deeper conceptual impact as far as being a bit more connected to my culture, and understanding the dynamics with what’s happening globally. Personally, I’ve had to reinvent myself several times, and it can take a while to be considered a serious artist in this world. Through my work, I invariably aim for everyone to find their Genius.”
***You can view some of Brian’s sensational collection on his Instagram, brianpolidixonart or his website brianpolidixonartwork.com