Ex-NFLer Poli-Dixon finds new career in fine art after brief stop in reality TV | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ex-NFLer Poli-Dixon finds new career in fine art after brief stop in reality TV

Brian Poli-Dixon is seen in this undated handout photo. Brian Poli-Dixon was at loose ends after an injury forced him to retire from the NFL. But a tryout on a reality television show led him back to the world of painting and he's now making a name as an artist. Poli-Dixon's latest exhibit opens on Sunday in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Georgis, Artworld Fine Art *MANDATORY CREDIT*
April 12, 2019 - 9:57 AM

TORONTO - Brian Poli-Dixon found himself at loose ends after an injury — ripping his hamstring off the bone — forced him to retire from the NFL.

After taking a year off to rehabilitate his leg, friends recommended that Poli-Dixon try out for "Big Brother", a reality TV show where about a dozen people are confined to a house together for months at a time. Poli-Dixon was a longtime fan of the program, so he travelled to Los Angeles for an audition.

As part of the audition, he had to spend 20 hours a day alone in a sealed room. The show's producers encouraged him to bring something to entertain himself, so Poli-Dixon stocked the room with art supplies.

"I just went crazy with it," said Poli-Dixon. "Every day I would come out of the room and I would have new drawings or works of art for the production staff, because they were the only people you could talk to.

"That's what sparked me to get my artistic juices flowing again."

Photography and art had long been a passion for Poli-Dixon. When he was being recruited to play football by different universities, it was the art school at UCLA that had him commit to that college.

Although his hectic football schedule didn't mesh well with the art classes — forcing him to become a history major — Poli-Dixon had a prolific NCAA career, compiling 2,077 receiving yards with 20 touchdowns over five seasons as a wideout for the Bruins.

Poli-Dixon then went on to spend four seasons in the NFL split between the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

Now 40, Poli-Dixon is fully committed to his life as a painter. He has established a new studio in Florida, sells his art across North America, and has a new show opening at the Artworld Fine Art gallery in Toronto on Sunday.

None of this comes as a surprise to Poli-Dixon's former teammates, many of whom have purchased his work.

"My name was just synonymous with art," Poli-Dixon said of how former teammates have reacted to his new career. "People who don't know me, when they figure that out and they see the whole football and art thing they think it doesn't go together.

"But family and friends who are close to me know that I've been into art my whole life."

Poli-Dixon counts Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat among his artistic influences but thinks that inspiration can strike from anywhere.

"I can't say that there's an artist I'm not inspired by, to be honest with you," said Poli-Dixon. "I'll take a little something, somehow, from them consciously or unconsciously."


Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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