A 38 year stopover in the Maldives
His locks of white hair and casual dressing – shorts, sandals, and shirt – make 68 year-old Philippe Laurella, a distinct figure on the streets of Male.
His many years in the Maldives, have earned him a spot in folklore, and most Maldivians know him as the white guy who married a Maldivian and settled here.
Despite coming from a family of artists Philippe was never interested in painting. However boredom on a rainy day in Male in 1999 led him to try, and when a Swiss friend liked and bought his work it became the catalyst for becoming a painter.
His paintings are mostly of fish; swirls of tiny blue fish, giving a peek into orange fishes that are passing behind. Or one of his most recognisable paintings: the long legs of a stork and its head peering back into the painting amid multi-coloured fishes swimming by. The colours are striking; the paintings uplift your spirits, while showcasing the beauty of fishes.
“My stay here just happened. This could be a 38 year stopover – I could still continue my voyage.”
Being born into the millennium, onto an Island of quarter of a million people, Refty has surely seen some things that pace through the thoughts with this ever-growing country. From a young age of 12, Refty has had a keen interest in documenting other people’s lives through the eyes of the camera lens. Something that started of as curiosity later developed into a skill.
This self-taught street oriented one of a kind of photography is a dying breed of photography according to the teenager. Being excessively curious about other beings, Refty tries to show the world about what goes on in his thoughts when he sees other people and then implements it on a medium.
His medium being photos. His one of a kind category of photography has surely interested a lot of people and gained attention over the past couple of years with him winning multiple awards for his photos the past year alone. His photos have also been featured on VSCO, a large cooperation that look to gain and collect the best photos from the globe. Refty’s visual taste includes black and whites and colored images with human figures that show a lot of emotion. He looks forward to widen his solo style of photography by implementing more figures and dimensions into them with the help of photo manipulation as well. His main interest in photography sparked due to his love in symmetry and beauty of emotion, he says. And he will continue to show the world what he believes what he is trying to accomplish by photographing beautiful photographs in regard to aesthetics and emotion.
‘Walking through and beneath shadows of the everyday humans’ exhibition:
Throught this exhibition, Refty tries to unveil the hidden symmetric beauty in every shot he composes. A composition of multiple similar shots which tries to show the world a different aspect of street photography. A series of 15 photos, both black and whites and colored images that radiate a sense of emotion and attitude that transcends through the vicinity of conscience. He tries to show the extra-ordinary behind the ordinary, the subtle seconds of bliss before chaos…