Auctioneer Spotlight: Dan Moloney and Esmeralda Dua
Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know one auctioneer couple more as they share some of their favorite adventures in the art world.
Dan Moloney and Esmeralda Dua aim to live outside their comfort zones, whether hiking Mount Kilimanjaro or taking a professional leap of faith. The Park West pair met at sea three years ago and have been inseparable ever since. This past month, Dan and Esmeralda joined Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas—one of the world’s largest cruise ships—and continue to forge larger-than-life memories. Recently engaged, both auctioneers are looking forward to married life and continued success together.
Previous ships: Carnival (CCL) Vista, CCL Splendor, Celebrity Equinox, Holland America Zaandam, Norwegian Jewel, Ruby Princess
Current ship: Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
Where is your hometown?
Dan: Gold Coast, Australia
Esmeralda: Antwerp, Belgium
When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?
Dan: Though I have a degree in personal training, in my early 20s I traveled quite a bit and, in doing so, developed an interest in culture and art. A friend recommended Park West and it’s been an exciting journey ever since. Working alongside Park West, I’ve helped guests from more than 30 different countries collect art, while visiting some of the most prestigious museums around the globe.
Esmeralda: I was working as a navigation officer on the HAL Zaandam when I first met Daniel, who was the art auctioneer on board. We hit it off immediately. My contract ended six weeks later, and I decided to leave my career behind and join Daniel with Park West. Needless to say, I had to work hard to obtain the level of art knowledge that is required for the job. It’s been the best decision of my life!
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Dan: Yaacov Agam and Peter Max are two of the most inspiring and exciting artists in the contemporary art world. Most artists can only dream of what Agam has accomplished. As for Max, not only is he one of the most philanthropic individuals in the world, but his color palette and method of storytelling make him my number one.
Esmeralda: I love Impressionism, and especially artworks depicting places I’ve traveled to or dream of visiting. I’m also a true romantic, so my heart melts every time I see a work of art by Sam Park, Victor Shvaiko, or Slava Ilyayev. It’s so hard to pick just one!
What is your favorite client memory?
Dan: We love it when a guest approaches us about an artwork they missed out on previously, because it offers us the opportunity to surprise them. When we’re able to find their favorite artwork, the client’s joy is indescribable.
We also like to keep in touch with our collectors and have them send photographs of their artworks as soon as they arrive. It’s priceless! One time, a Canadian client enjoyed meeting us so much that she named her Romero Britto artwork—which depicted a couple—“Daniel and Esmeralda.” That’s the beauty about working with Park West—people don’t just collect the work of art itself, but also the memory.
Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?
Dan: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I took Esmeralda there on our first date to see the world famous arch. The weather is always wonderful in Cabo and a great Mexican lunch with fresh guacamole is never far away. In fact, I rented a sailing boat in Cabo this past December to propose to Esmeralda—she said yes!
Esmeralda: I have a weak spot for Alaska. Dan and I have so many remarkable memories there—from hiking the ice caves underneath the Mendenhall glacier in Juneau to seeing bears fishing for salmon in the wild. You’ll never feel closer to nature than when you’re visiting Alaska.
What does life look like when you’re home on vacation?
Dan: We both love adventure and try to do something out of our comfort zone every day. Esmeralda and I have our scuba diving licenses and love horseback riding, hiking, and snowboarding. On our last vacation we made it to the top Mount Kilimanjaro and slept in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti desert.
Esmeralda: We love being spoiled with home-cooked meals. Spending time with family and friends is our number one priority after spending months at sea, and there’s nothing better than catching up over a long dinner. Usually, we spend one vacation in Belgium and the other in Australia, so we have plenty of time with both our families.
Please tell us about your experience aboard the Oasis of the Seas?
Esmeralda: Working on Oasis of the Seas is the most exhilarating experience for us. It’s one of the most stunning ships we have ever seen and the onboard collection can’t be beat. Never have we come across a more exciting mix of artists and mediums
In our free time, Daniel and I like to “wine and dine.” The Central Park area is the perfect setting for this, with hundreds of plants and trees and romantic lights after sunset. The Oasis is truly unlike any other ship on the seven seas.