Clerk-turned-famous artist  paints a colorful world in Saudi


Negrense Larry F. Carumba is a multi-awarded visual artist who has been recognized for his exceptional passion and talent. In 2014, the Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc. awarded him as Bagong Bayani for Culture and the Arts.

His artworks now hang internationally in the private collections of UAE Emirates Airlines, Saudi princesses, diplomats, CEOs and in the walls of art socialites in Saudi, Greece, South Africa, UK, Australia, Japan, Lebanon, US, Syria, Jordan, among others.


gold fish



Humble beginnings


In 2013, he was Best in Show Artist at the British Aerospace Art Exhibition organized by Jackie Owens. In 2012, he was Honorary Guest at the International Art Exhibition of Real Colors in Al Baylasan Art Center, King Abdulaziz Science and Technology Research Center. In the same year, he was declared Grand Prize Winner in the Philippine Independence Day celebration.

In 2011, his work was adjudged as Best Painting in the Third International Exhibition in Real Colors 3 Albaylasan for Fine Arts. His painting was also chosen to be the official advertising material for 2012 global marketing campaign of Emirates Airways.

Two decades ago, Larry was an ordinary OFW in search of a greener pasture.

Humble beginnings

He worked in five different companies for a period of 24 years including his current company where he has been working for 13 years. “My first work in Saudi Arabia is Sales Clerk. Saudi Arabia is my second home for 24 years. My first impression of my host city is, this is where my life is. This is where I will succeed and have a better life for my family. All what I need is to work hard and abide with the laws, respect their culture and religion. My impression did not change. It even surpassed beyond my expectation for a better life.”


How he became an influential visual artist, this is his story. “I have started when I reached Saudi Arabia. With nothing to do after work hours, I have to find ways to keep me busy. I tried  to learn the techniques of art for over 19 years. God’s guidance, passion and natural art instinct lead me to where I am right.

Twist of life

Larry had his break in 2010. “I participated first time to exhibit all my life and it happened in an international art exhibition in Saudi Arabia after years of seclusion as an artist without realizing I have potential. All what I did in many years is to paint because it makes me happy and that’s it. I did not imagine I will achieve tremendous success in such a fast pace after launching  My three entries were a stand-out among the many 200+ art collections of international highly sought artists.”

“From then on, life changed. The advantage of being an international visual artist is the economic reward, able to meet distinguished and highly-respected and influential people in the art society – from royalty to politics.”


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Beauty, positive outlook

Larry extends support to humanitarian and community projects discreetly as his principle is to share blessings. “In my principle, whatever help I extend it need not be known by anyone except those who receive my help.”

He is a member of OFW Congress Eastern Province-Khobar in Saudi Arabia where its ultimate objective is to be of service to the Filipino community. Few of his artworks were auctioned and the proceeds were donated to the home for the aged and to victims of calamity. He donated part of the proceeds of his sold painting to Saudi Breast Cancer Society.

To his fellow Filipinos in the gulf, this is his advice. “Be firm to withstand the tough challenges of life as an OFW in a very conservative and strict society of Saudi Arabia. We must have self discipline, positive and good attitude. We must choose the right friends. We must use time constructively. Be resourceful to survive.”


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IMG_3984THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique.  While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.



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