Israel-born art consultant Thomas Rom, is placed at number 5 in this year’s 100 Most Eligible Bachelor list in popular gay magazine OUT. In a special interview with Israeli website Mako, Rom speaks about being on the list, dating, and the longing for Israel.
Every year, just before Valentines’ Day, OUT magazine publishes its sexy list of Most Eligible Bachelors, and Thomas Rom, whose first name is Elad and who currently lives in New York, is on it this year – for the second time. “I was on that list a few years ago,” the 37-year-old tells Israeli website Mako Pride. “The editor of ‘Out’ and I walk in the same professional and social circles. I even guest-edited two editions of the magazine and advised it about art.”
Surprisingly enough, Thomas describes himself in the Israeli interview first and foremost as a Jew. “I’m a Jew, an Israeli, American resident, gay, art consultant, Burner (member of the Burning Man community) and a gypsy,” Thomas laughs, “because I live on airplanes and in hotels.”
In the interview, Thomas explains what it means, being an art consultant. “I build private collections for people around the world,” he says. “It never really was my plan. I worked in Israel as a stylist then rolled into the marketing and advertising field. When I moved out here I opened a creative agency that had a division for consulting art that somehow grew bigger after the 2008 financial crisis.”
Born in Ramat Hasharon, Thomas moved to Tel Aviv at the age of 17 after he was discharged from the army because of health problems. At 25, he moved to New York, which was never in the plans for him either. “At that time I had a boyfriend who received an offer for relocation. The truth is that I had a debate on whether to move or not, mainly because I was sure that I would return to Israel after three years.”
But Thomas fell in love with NYC and stayed: “There’s something remarkable in how much ages and background do not necessarily play a role here,” he says. “You can connect with people with the same passions or hobbies. New York is huge, but in a certain sense it’s as small as Tel Aviv and everybody knows everybody.”
And although there’s the connection to New York, thinking about Israel is always there: “There is part of me that misses Israel when I’m not there,” he says. “I miss the colors and smells and humor and the unique cynicism. I grew up in Israeli culture, no matter how American I became over the years.”
In the interview, Thomas describes how important it is to him to highlight Israeli art in his work: “Israel is a country where twenty families dominate sixty percent of the capital,” he says. “There are few people who can decide on everything, and that’s a problem. It is not a market I like to work with. I’m rarely selling to the Israeli market. Often, however, I buy Israeli art. I work hard for Israeli art to get representation and place. Israeli art is great. ”
In the interview, Thomas also talks about not being on social media. “My field is an area with a supreme value of discretion. The fact that you can’t always know where I am or when, contributes to my clients. My view is somewhat anachronistic, and I realize I’m missing something about my lack of connection with people, but I’m still not an alienated person.”
As opposed to using social media, Thomas has some criticism about using gay dating apps. “I’m not crazy about this purposeful communication of how big and how far,” he says. “I want my sex to be more sophisticated than that. I deserve a little more than that. It does not mean that I am critical of this because all of my friends use it, but I feel that when I’m there, it becomes staged and forced, and I don’t want to feel like that. I just held a conversation with friends, about maybe it’s time to build Ok-Cupid and go on dates. I feel like I need to be out of my comfort zone. Up to now I just came across with people. The art world has no shortage of good people, but there are no bachelors. ”
What you are looking for in a partner?
“He should be very charismatic, someone who can challenge me mentally and intrigue me, someone I can go on a journey with. Almost all my partners were older than I am, early forties and up. I don’t care about his culture, but he also needs to be a cosmopolitan guy. I don’t care what religion he is, but it is important for him to have a deep spiritual element in life. He better not be a part of the art world because it would be like incest.
“Oh, and a sense of style. I can live without it, but I’m a little shallow.”