Icons – Daniel David Moli

Iconic Pop Art, Personal Vision

Daniel David Moli, Muhammed Ali, 2022
Map Unavailable
Jun 8 - Jul 20
10:00 - 17:00


Rendering pop images within aspects of expressionistic street culture David ‘Boogie’ Moli’s work treads a path between personal experience and media enculturation. The icons he’s working with are shown within graffitied walls, paste-ups over stylized settings, perhaps dreams over reality.

Daniel David Moli, Diego Maradona, 2022

Daniel David Moli, Diego Maradona, 2022

Daniel David Moli, Muhammed Ali, 2022

Daniel David Moli, Muhammed Ali, 2022

Moli’s story is unique, his football talent was discovered early and with an apprenticeship at Liverpool FC his path towards becoming a famous sportsperson relatively secure. However, injuries cut his career short and at 24 he had find a new way forward. During a period of therapy and personal discovery he discovered art, and since then has developed a Pop-Art style that has lead to commissions and collaboration with brands.

Daniel David Moli, Nelson Mandela, 2022

Daniel David Moli, Nelson Mandela, 2022

Icons, Moli’s latest exhibition at Quantus gallery, sees the artist rendering the famous portraits that have inspired him in settings that reflect his upbringing in Luton. Are these icons people whose successes he sought to emulate? Does the distressed presentation of the iconic images, torn from the pages of celebrity culture, reflect his own disenchantment with nostalgic celebrity culture, or is he reflecting on these archetypes and seeing the arch of time, luck, and struggle that makes up their stories? The iconic nature of the exhibition is nuanced, at once a reminder of his past fame as a footballer and perhaps also a signifier that as an artist he’s continuing play. But what is the nature of the game and what does it mean that iconic images live through us? Moli suggests that inspirational icons are as functional as the walls around us, moreover in the pursuit of our dreams they are not insurmountable.




Moli Icons Exhibition Info: 

Daniel David Moli, The Greatest, 2022

Daniel David Moli, The Greatest, 2022

Boogie was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1995, emigrating to the UK at 10 years old. He lived in Luton, where he says, “you’re either on the streets or you play football.”

Thankfully for Boogie, it was the latter, and falling in love with the sport, he caught the eye of scouts while kicking a ball around with his friends. He left home at 11 to “follow his dream” and completed an apprenticeship at Liverpool FC. Three years he later joined the Wolverhampton Wanderers; however, his career was plagued by injuries and he spent more time on the side lines than on the pitch.

When a torn anterior cruciate ligament forced Boogie to retire from the ‘beautiful game’ at 24, the surgeries and recovery threw him into a diagnosed depression for three years. But it was during his rehabilitation that he was inspired to take up painting, and the therapeutic power of art ultimately helped him come through those dark days and begin his art career.

Boogie first took a brush to trainers and started selling them to friends, but soon moved on to canvases, and inspired by his idols such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, George Condo and LA-based artist Retna, soon developed his own graffiti-style of work.

Since hanging up his boots, Boogie’s painting career has gone from strength to strength. His debut exhibition appeared at Manchester’s National Football Museum in 2019, the same year he collaborated with major retail store The Couture Club – going on to do three further collaborations with the store after his first collection was a sell-out success.

Fast forward to today, and Boogie’s artwork is collected across the globe, selling for thousands. He has collaborated with renowned brands such as Puma, Funko, boohooMan and Yelir World have been very lucrative, ““I’ve made more money in my first year as an artist than in my whole football career,” he says. Despite this, he says his purpose in life is more altruistic: “I want to help and inspire others, and with art I get to do just that.”

Boogie is also known for his commission work from football stars, and to date seven Premier footballers have purchased his work, including Jack Grealish – who commissioned a portrait – Antonio Rudiger, and fellow England players Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard.

His friend and former Liverpool teammate – and former teenage housemate – Raheem Sterling is perhaps one of his biggest fans, and is the proud owner of several of Boogie’s coruscating artworks. “Raheem and I were the only Black boys at school in Liverpool, and we found it tough,” he says.

“My purpose in life is to help and inspire others, and with art I get to do just that.”

Moli: Icons runs from until 20th July at Quantus Gallery, 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our weekly newsletter

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.