There’s an undeniable aura of exclusivity surrounding the tiny isle of Saint Barthélemy. It’s in the emerald-blue harbour teeming with yachts, and in the distinctively French flair that pervades the island’s way of life.
It’s a scorching, humid New York summer day, but Julien Gardair, clad in khaki shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt, is unfazed by the heat. To be polite, he flicks on the air conditioning. French people don’t use much A/C, explains the Versailles-born contemporary artist, pouring glasses of sparkling water thick with crushed limes.