Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem shares his love of art

NOW: Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem shares his love of art

They say life imitates art but for Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem, art imitates life.

"I guess I always kind of loved art," Kareem said.

Kareem is a senior in the Mendoza College of Business but art is his secret passion.

"One of my advisors, the one thing that he told me was that, this is the one time in life where you really can do what you want to do for free. So I said, 'Ok, I'm going to take some art classes and kind of fell right back in love with it,'" Kareem said.

Kareem is minoring in art and has taken 6 classes ranging from drawing to painting and even ceramics. The non-conventional combo of art and business just feels right to him.

"One is really organic and the other is straight and narrow. Sometimes I have to change my mindset a little bit because I'm really creative at one point and then be sort of straight forward and see things for how they are, so I find a happy medium with it," Kareem said.

His final class at Notre Dame is an independent study where he is tasked with composing a self-portrait.

"I'm doing a big 60 by 48 painting of just me describing who I am and how I got to where I am today," Kareem said.

Kareem has been influenced by modern and pop artists like Keith Haring and Timmy Sneaks.

"He does a lot of mixed media. A lot of collages, different techniques. So, he'll print it out, the picture he wants in the middle and paint everything around it," Kareem said.

That style has inspired him.

"In the middle it's me, I think it's the celebration against Pitt when I got the sack, of me like screaming and then around me is a bunch of pieces of pop culture and the kind of things I was raised on, like cartoons I watched as a kid. And then in the background I have a tie that my dad gave me and a scarf my mom always wears, so that kind of represents them. And then I have my siblings initials. And an ND, there's a bunch of stuff on it. It will be fun to see what it's like when it's done," Kareem said.

Kareem will almost certainly be playing on Sundays. Number 53 is considered Notre Dame's highest NFL draft prospect.

But when it's time for life after football, Kareem has a plan.

"I want to buy and sell art. There's a lot of money there," Kareem said.

For now, he’s using his artistic side to help him on the football field.

"I would definitely say the perfectionist taps into football, because I want to be, I guess, perfect and everything that I do. I'm always studying my opponent. The fine details, like I do in art, also in their game and try to pick them a part as well," Kareem said.

Like a brush stroke on canvas, every tackle, every sack is Kareem's very own work of art.

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