Brian Poli-Dixon

Brian Poli-Dixon is an artist based in Miami, Florida. After a successful career as a wide receiver for the UCLA Bruins, he spent several years playing in the NFL before having to leave the sport prematurely due to a leg injury. This allowed him to rediscover his love of art, which he has since explored and developed with his distinctive paintings by using raw color, texture and form to create emotionally laden work in a variety of styles. His work strives to be relatable, accessible and enjoyable while also provoking thought and eliciting complex reactions. His practice also extends into photography and sculptural canvas.

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona Brian’s creativity and self-expression throughout his youth were influenced by his parents and life at home. His father valued the idea that all people have a commonness that equalizes and unites them across society. Brian’s mother impressed upon him a fundamental appreciation for the importance of dignity, ceremony, and decorum. By blending his father’s optimistic outlook with his mother’s aesthetic sensibilities at a young age, Brian gained an enduring openness to physically exploring and creatively expressing whatever life, people, and new experiences had to offer him.

Poli-Dixon was recruited to play football for UCLA and had a prolific NCAA career, compiling 2,077 receiving yards with 20 touchdowns over five seasons as a wideout for the Bruins. PoliDixon then went on to spend four seasons in the NFL split between the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints. His ambitions of pursuing a professional career in the National Football League, however, came to an abrupt conclusion. After suffering a debilitating leg injury, he left the NFL permanently. Brian turned to the transformative nature of his creativity to explore, comprehend, and make sense of this physical trauma. At these profound cross-roads in his life, he reignited his passion for painting. His athleticism infused his creative process with; a deep-rooted commitment to discipline, training, and practicing; a drive and determination for excellence; mastery over mind and body; rigorous attention to detail; as well as, a clarity and focus of purpose regarding artistic methods and media.

Brian’s latest collection of paintings layers the personal with the political to invite successively elusive interpretations to emerge. And all the while, the energetic sense of embodiment and physicality he brings to bear on his choices of methods and media remain authentic to his quintessential artistic/athletic hybridity.

Through art, even the most commonplace of possessions may serve as an eloquent metaphor to convey a long-lasting impact. Borrowing the floral bouquet motif from his childhood expressions of love for his mother, alongside feminine figures, he pays homage to Picasso’s use of found objects and collage in art. By intentionally using a juxtaposition of raw colours, course textures, and transitional forms, he elicits the tender, intricate emotions that often accompany revelations of such truths, meaning, and coherence that flow during moments of solitude, silence, and vulnerability.

Invoking Basquiat’s graffiti installations that sought to bring high art to the streets by reframing text into contemporary, meaningful, and accessible imagery, many of Brian’s works in this collection use an interplay of text and masculine motifs to again extrapolate from his personal experiences of creative expression. Edgy, urban, and with a sophisticated use of intertextuality, Brian Poli-Dixon’s latest collection signifies a theme that is highly relevant: Genius is us.

“When I paint, I feel a sense of uncertainty of the outcome. Though this process is now fulfilling for me, and I welcome it with openness, I once found the experience stressful precisely because I didn’t know the outcome. Over time I have discovered a sense of familiarity and comfort within this space of discontinuity. I now embrace my artistic journeys and understand that I eventually create something personal that I truly love.” Brian Poli-Dixon