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St Barth Photo Festival 2021 : Ben Watts : Summer Island at Villa Marie


With few opening exhibitions left to debut, the opening night of Ben WattsSummer Island show on November 30th for the last day of the month will spare no expense. Being held at the tropical-chic paradise of Villa Marie hotel, Watts’ exhibition encapsulates the youthful summer atmosphere of St Barth and the free-spirited flavor of summer.

The British-born photographer first trained in Sydney before moving to New York where he is now based. Ben Watts is known for his unique ability to capture the ever-shifting soul of  youth. When he arrived in New York in 1990, he immediately became engulfed by its hip hop culture, beginning his longstanding journey of attempting to capture the spirit of the urban youth through traversing the up-and-coming streets and clubs of the city. Watts’ works have been featured in an array of international publications. Watts has become a staple of the city and its youth culture, contributing to several group exhibitions including “Art in Photography.”

His fascination with urban youth and particularly hip-hop culture is evident in his work, as his appreciation bursts through his photographs and inspires his viewers to share his interest. His signature style has been described by Vanity Fair as “a neon-filtered window into the people, places, and parties of beaches and islands.” Watts centers his daring and playful energy at the forefront of Summer Island, which features some of today’s most famous young contemporary supermodels.

With uncontrived and energetic expressions, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and other staples of the modelling scene effortlessly invite the viewer to embrace the carefree ease of a day on the beach. Summer Island also uniquely includes frenzied and dynamic photomontages with overlaying images, bold graphics, and text in a cut-and-paste-like effect– the result is an ode to vibrancy, enthusiasm, youth and energy.

Summer Island’s celebratory energy aligns with the overarching meaning of the St. Barth Photo Festival, whose prestigious line up has allowed the world to come together and embrace the spirit of the Fashion industry and Fashion photography– an echo of the days of Studio 54 glamorous, star-studded singularity. Watts’ Summer Island exhibition will be in true spirit of the Festival and its vibrant, energetic soul, completing the Festival’s daring November line-up.

Marie Audier D’Alessandris


Programme d’ouverture

23 novembre, Ouverture du Festival : Wallhouse Museum – Laurent Polo-Garnier et Camellia Menard, Emergence

24 novembre Cheval Blanc – Ellen von Unwerth, Party Time

25 novembre Christopher – Greg Lotus, By the Pool

26 novembre Toiny – David Drebin, Sea Gazing

27 novembre Rosewood Le Guanahani – Marco Glaviano, 50 Years in Saint Barth

28 novembre Hôtel Barrière Carl Gustaf – Brian Bowen Smith, Drivebys

29 novembre Le Sereno – David Bellemere, Flowers

30 novembre Villa Marie – Ben Watts, Summer Island

1er décembre Manapany – Greg Kadel, Plein Soleil

2 décembre Le Barthélemy – Fred Meylan, Swim Forever

Eden Rock – Daniel Arsham, Moon Shots


Pour les détails de la programmation, plus d’informations sur l’artiste et les œuvres d’art, visitez et suivez @artweeksbh.



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