We had the good fortune of connecting with james bacchi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi james, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve always been a risk taker. For the most part enjoy it. It took some time, but what I learned over the years is as long as you can avoid large scale financial risk, the act in itself is extremely motivational and good for the soul. 

What should our readers know about your business?

JAMES BACCHI CONTEMPORARY and #inthesky is the culmination of my continued enjoyment of more than 40 years of wearing many hats in the business of Art. I believe the learning experience derived from sporting all these hats, (Curator, Gallerist, Art Consultant, i-phoneographer and Collaborator), and most importantly, my integrity and reputation is what sets my business apart from others.

It has certainly been a wild ride. Back in the mid-1980’s I organized Art Events during the height of the New York City Club Scene at Limelight, Palladium, Area and Home which led to opening ONTHE WALL in the East Village and later, Jagendorf-Bacchi in SOHO. I survived the early 90’s crash as a Corporate Art Consultant, then moved to San Francisco and launched ArtHaus Gallery with Art Consultant Annette Schutz from 1995 to 2020.

In 2015 I became obsessed with mobile photography and began an ongoing essay titled #inthesky. The primary focus of this black and white essay is capturing tension from the ground up. These mobile photographs have been exhibited in San Francisco, New York and Palm Springs and featured by Karyn Mannix Contemporary at RED DOT MIAMI during Art Basel. Daily posts can be viewed at @jamesbacchi.

Oh, and it was that same, very good year that I finally found a guy to marry me. Mr. B. is a longtime friend, a passionate art collector, a fan and true supporter of all of me. What more could a guy ask for?

When the Pandemic hit. The isolation made me look at life and business with fresh eyes. San Francisco was quickly losing its charm. While ArtHaus was thriving, even with the windows bordered up, I was astounded by what I was accomplishing sitting at home with my phone and thirty-five years’ worth of collectors and clients to talk to about purchasing art and supporting artists during this madness. Everyone was stuck at home with no place to go. My thought; If the walls are closing in let me take them up a few notches.

Mr. B and I were already two years into a five-year plan to relocate to Palm Springs. The Pandemic, working remotely and an option to get out of the lease at the gallery became the catalysts for an early departure. Preparing for and fantasizing about this major life change was exhilarating! Ending a 25 year Business Partnership was physically and emotionally challenging.

Fast forward to nearing nearly two years living and working in Palm Springs. These months have certainly been the most exciting time of my life since my early years in New York. At 68 years young, I imagined I would begin winding things down a bit. It has been anything but… I’m having the time of my life in this City and it seems that I owe it all to a slew of business opportunities presented just prior to the move and seemingly ever since.

Collaborations continue to be the driving forces for both my enjoyment and my success at this stage. I’m honored and proud that Selected Works from JAMES BACCHI CONTEMPORARY are featured at the iconic The Shops at 1345 Palm Canyon and at SCOUT Palm Springs art + home, the latest venture by Hewn Founders Jeff Holt and Peter West. I’m also guest curating with Gallerist, Dr. Alix Nassiri at the new Alix Gallery in Palm Springs and Art Consulting for MRK Contemporary in Dubai. Sometimes I feel like the ART MAN about town, and then some.

Back in San Francisco, Holly Reeves, Principal of RGH DESIGNS, recently launched THE SPACE by RGH. I was so excited when she asked if I would Co-Curate THE SPACE with her. Our Opening Show, FOURplay, is a Group Exhibition featuring works by Lucky Rapp, Paul Morin, Scott Idleman and Will Valle. Hence, JAMES BACCHI CONTEMPORARY Palm Springs + San Francisco.

I am super excited to present NEO-MODERNISM at the PALM SPRINGS MODERNISM SHOW in late October. I can’t wait to see the artist’s entries and begin jurying them for the BLACK & WHITE Exhibition , opening November 18th at Arc Gallery in , San Francisco. And, I’m ,over the moon just thinking about the upcoming OPENING RECEPTION for CALYX, an exhibition of Transformative Photographic Works by SUPREME EXTREME, Susaye Greene and iPhoneographer, James Bacchi. This inaugural show will take place at META CONTEMPORARY later this Fall in the Metaverse.

Was it easy? Hell, no! But I’m proud and happy to continue reinventing this forty something year old career. I’m blessed with the people in my life, especially the artists whom I represent, and to be involved with so many deeply satisfying projects at this stage. I’ve made a pact with myself that if any of these ventures become no longer enjoyable, I will let them go. While I am deeply committed to each of these projects, none require long-term commitment. I love that!

Yes, there were many lessons learned along the way. Some seemed to have taken on more of a curve than others. Let’s see, there’s the importance of listening, balancing my passion with my persistence, surrounding myself with colleagues you can learn from and that spark motivation, never getting caught up in the struggle or the negative, self-respect and respect for the amazing artists, collectors and advisors I continue to work with, you must always maintain integrity. The most important lesson came better late than never. Repeat after me. I will “react less/live more!”

When looking back at all these years which have gone by in a series of flashes, I can honestly say, I wouldn’t change a thing. Ok, maybe just one thing. In the early 80’s I passed on a rare opportunity to purchase “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” by Warhol at a ridiculous price of 5K. There, I said it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I’d take them to The Palm Springs Art Museum, The Architecture and Design Center, The Uptown Design District, a drive through Old Las Palmas, The Shops at 1345, Mini Golf, The Perez Art and Design District, where I’d introduce all the Guys, Misty’s, The Vintage Market and the Botanical Gardens. I prefer drive-by nature so you’re on your own for Joshua Tree and all that. Same goes for the Tram. Hated it!

My short list for eating and drinking: El Mirasol Los Arboles, The Palms, 1501 Uptown Gastropub, Boozehounds, Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey, 555 Viet Fusion, Cheekys, The Tropicale, Farm, Workshop Kitchen & Bar and Norma’s at The Parker Hotel. Of course, I’d cook and also try my damnedest to convince my best friend to drive us to China Town in LA. There’s not a decent Chinese Restaurant in or anywhere near Palm Springs, and I’m always jonesing for good Chinese!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

My big time Shoutout goes to Professor Duane Jones, aka Ben in George A. Romero’s classic film Night of The Living Dead. Duane taught advanced Creative Writing at Antioch University and later became my Advisor. In short, he offered me my World. He encouraged me to seek out an Internship in NYC followed by studying abroad in London for two years. The opportunities and experiences his guidance presented made me realize anything and everything, anywhere, is possible.

Duane went on to be the Artistic Director of the Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art in New York City and passed from heart failure in his early fifties shortly after I returned to New York. I wished we could have spent time together in the city if just to let him know how much I appreciated the path for success he had directed me to.

Major Shoutouts to my Guardian Angel, Tony Bacchi for always having my back, Harriette Berman for creating The Little Prince, Adam Kurtzman for showing me your artistic genius, James Taliaferro for gift of true friendship and endless laughter, Annette Schutz for your Partnership and unconditional love, Art for AIDS for giving me community, Scott Balentine for saying yes, Karyn Mannix for showing my work at RED DOT, Miami, Susaye Greene for taking me to The Metaverse and Paula Davidsen for instilling your mantra, “If it doesn’t work, change it!”

Website: www.jamesbacchicontemporary.com

Instagram: @jamesbacchicontemporary @jamesbacchi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-bacchi-0482842/

Twitter: @jamesbacchiart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JBCpssf/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdaAI9KTQj4 https://www.modlar.com/modernarchitect/156/season-6-episode-14-james-bacchi/

Other: https://pstribune.com/2022/06/13/the-shops-at-1345-welcome-james-bacchi-contemporary/ https://www.healing-power-of-art.org/james-bacchi-gallerist-and-juror-for-art-for-aids-2015/

Image Credits
Image #1 Painting by Mark D. Powers

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