David Moli: Ex-footballer who’s artworks hang on the walls of Premier League stars

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Injury ended David Moli’s Liverpool career at aged just 24, but his goals in the world of art are just as big.

Jack Grealish, Trent Alexander, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling are just some of the big names who have commissioned Moli to produce his artistic wizardry with inventive portraits.

Moli, who displays his work under his stage name, Boogie Moli, can command up to five figures for his canvases, on display in London’s Red 8 Gallery.

Jack Grealish by Boogie Moli
Boogie Moli, left, with Manchester City star Jack Grealish and fellow Aston Villa academy product Callum Robinson, now of West Brom.
Jack Grealish by Boogie Moli
Grealish delighted with his canvas which portrays the City star sticking his fingers in his ears after he scored against Leeds United following his £100 million move from Aston Villa to Manchester City.

“I knew in the last year of my football career that I was a creative person just looking for the right platform to seek fulfilment.”

Boogie Moli

Sterling is an old pal from the early days. It was lounging on his sofa that Moli began to put together his plans for the future, achieved in barely three years.

“He wants to become the biggest licensed artist working globally and he’s quietly confident he can do it,” says Josh Odukomaya, business partner and close friend.

Antonio Rüdiger with Boogie Moli
Moli presents former Chelsea man Antonio Rüdiger with his artwork.
Italian Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo by Boogie Moli
Giovanni Di Lorenzo of Napoli and Italy.

Moli was commissioned by several international players to produce personal profiles, including Grealish and Napoli and Italy right back Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and his network regularly brings him referrals in a world he knows it is tough to make it in.

“It’s niche isn’t it,” he says, “but 50% of my work comes from word of mouth and regardless, it just doesn’t feel like work! I love what I do, I’m in the studio seven days a week but it’s my go-to place.

“I didn’t set out to be a role model or anything of that sort when I first started painting, but many young artists and professional athletes come up to me and tell me how much I have inspired them to pursue their passion outside of football.”

Boogie Moli
Boogie Moli posed with Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean paintings
Moli with Alex Iwobi, left, and Moise Kean artworks.

“I knew in the last year of my football career that I was a creative person just looking for the right platform to seek fulfilment.”

Those platforms have become diverse since Moli turned his focus towards fashion and art, particularly street-influenced stencilling and customising designer brands with his unique style.

A collaboration with fashion retailer The Couture Club saw the men’s and women’s brand sell out of Boogie Moli customised jackets in just 12 minutes online, while large canvases created in his carefully honed stencilled style are now selling for in excess of £10,000.

Trent Alexander-Arnold with Boogie Moli
Moli presents Trent Alexander-Arnold with his Notorious B.I.G and Joker inspired artworks.

Says Moli: “I think I’m perceived very positively in the art industry… clients and investors have commented on my growth and progression over the years and I want to keep growing and getting better at what I do.

“I didn’t set out to be a role model or anything of that sort when I first started painting, but many young artists and professional athletes come up to me and tell me how much I have inspired them to pursue their passion outside of football.”

Jesse Lingard at home with his Boogie Moli artwork
Jesse Lingard at home with his Moli artwork.
Tammy Abraham by Boogie Moli
Tammy Abraham, now of Roma.
Liverpool legend Kenny Daglish with Boogie Moli
Moli presents Liverpool legend Kenny Daglish with his canvas.

As a former professional himself, he knows first hand some of the harsh treatment handed out to our biggest, high profile players.

“More often than not footballers are unfairly treated by the media,” he said. “We have got to remember that these athletes are also human beings and have families.

“When they make mistakes they can get crucified by the media and that ain’t right. And certainly not just because they are in the public eye. It takes a lot to become a professional footballer, sacrifices a lot of people aren’t willing to do and we tend to overlook those factors.” 

“There are a lot of players in the premier league that I’ve worked with that are big into art and are serious art collectors.”

Boogie Moli
Fikayo Tomori by Boogie Moli
Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori, now of AC Milan
Mason Holgate by Boogie Moli
Everton star Mason Holgate.

His standing has given him an insider’s view into the world of professional football.

“There are a lot of players in the premier league that I’ve worked with that are big into art and are serious art collectors,” he said. “Whilst I won’t name them, I was surprised to know how many there were.

“Fashion, art, music and football are all linked in my humble opinion. You’ll see a lot more footballers in fashion shows and music videos, etc. The link has never been stronger.”

Artist Boogie Moli Callum Hudson-Odoi
Cheslea and England winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.

“It takes a lot to become a professional footballer, sacrifices a lot of people aren’t willing to do and we tend to overlook those factors.” 

Boogie Moli
Lewis Hamilton by Boogie Moli
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton.
Boogie Moli with Deontay Wilder
Moli with US boxer ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder.

“I want young players to know that if they don’t make it as a professional footballer it’s not the end of the world, they can become very successful in other things, just never give up.”

Boogie Moli
Kean Bryan by Boogie Moli
Kean Bryan by Boogie Moli
Che Adams by Boogie Moli
Che Adams by Boogie Moli
Boogie Moli Mona Lisa
Boogie’s Mona Lisa.

“Fashion, art, music and football are all linked. You’ll see a lot more footballers in fashion shows and music videos. The link has never been stronger.”

Boogie Moli
Kortney Hause and Boogie Moli
Aston Villa defender Kortney Hause with his portrait and commissions of Basketball stars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Boogie Moli Sinatra
Frank Sinatra by Boogie Moli.

“Don’t listen to any negative comments no matter where they come from… have a vision and follow it.”

Boogie Moli

When asked whether he feels he’s helping break the notion that footballers should just play football and don’t deserve to have a voice in other areas, Moli defiantly responded: “I just want the young players to know that if they don’t make it as a professional footballer it’s not the end of the world, they can become very successful in other things, just never give up.

“Don’t listen to any negative comments no matter where they come from… have a vision and follow it.”

And true to his word, Moli keeps pursuing his vision, with Basketball start LeBron James a dream future client. 

Luke Shaw by Boogie Moli
England and Manchester United left back, Luke Shaw.
Luke Shaw and David Moli (Boogie Moli) on England youth team duty
Luke Shaw and Moli on England youth duty, 2011–12.

“More often than not footballers are unfairly treated by the media. We have got to remember that these athletes are also human beings and have families. When they make mistakes they can get crucified by the media and that ain’t right.” 

Boogie Moli
Riyad Mahrez and Taylor Ward with Boogie Moli
Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and Taylor Ward with Boogie Moli and their artwroks
Riyad Mahre and Boogie Moli
Riyad Mahrez presents Boogie with a signed shirt.
Boogie Moli Pele
Pele by Moli.

“LeBron James, I’d love to work with him on whatever project, it’ll be a dream to connect with someone as iconic as him.”

Boogie Moli

Moli has not left his love of football behind, despite an often frustrating time at Liverpool.

“I still follow Chelsea,” he said. “I got to work with a few Chelsea players such as Reece James and Antonio Rudiger which was amazing.”

What’s next for this rising star of the art world? “To fulfil my purpose and potential, to give hope to the hopeless and lastly, to spread positivity in this world.”

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