Tall, blond, and brooding, Thomas Moller, 54, worked as an abstract painter and collage artist in New York City for 30 years before nabbing the prestigious position of director of art at The Battery, a San Francisco private social club. Charmed by the confluence of first-rate art, food, and culture in the Bay Area, the German native brought his discerning eye and curatorial skills to the city in 2012. With an outsider’s perspective, Moller, who lives in Oakland’s Chinatown, has integrated work from SF’s different art communities at unique bimonthly shows at The Battery and has taken club members on art-based field trips, including exclusive tours of galleries in SF’s up-and-coming arts district, Potrero Flats. This month, Moller will co-curate a show with Bay Area native and Latino activist Julio Cesar Morales. Though he’s tight-lipped on the details, he reveals that some of the Bay Area’s hottest new artists will be featured in the show, which, he boasts, will be “the best thing ever.” Though Moller’s work life is filled with vivid color and bold statements, you won’t ever see the self-proclaimed minimalist in anything other than neutral colors. His staples include black T-shirts, Levi’s denim, custom-made Michel Cazabat shoes, and Stephane Kélian leather accessories—a wardrobe conducive to jet-setting around the world while looking for emerging talent. “There are so many young new artists to get excited about, I can’t keep track of them all,” he says.
Haribo gummy bears, because they’re delicious.
Tools of the Trade
DeWalt hammer drill. I love the brand’s iconic yellow color.
Molton Brown body wash
My stainless steel Viking stove. I’ve dragged it with me a few places.
To be a great artist, be very open-minded. Don’t let your ego or identity get in the way.
This article was published in 7x7's September 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.