Brad Walls’ ‘Displaced’: A Visual Journey Through Displacement and Duality

  • Brad Walls‘ new series ‘Displaced’ captures the emotions of displacement and duality.
  • The project was inspired by Valerie Marienko‘s story of leaving Odessa, Ukraine, for America.
  • ‘Displaced’ represents a shift in Walls’ approach, painting with the camera to create mood and meaning.

Already acclaimed for his 2022 series “Pools From Above,” Walls has now completed yet another project, this time at the less-known Don Kohl Football Stadium in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The series had 17 images in all, half of which had been captured from the ground and the other half from the air. The reason behind this was making a debut for it with the handheld camera. He justified his transition by stating, “I had been a drone photographer since I started. I wanted to translate everything I had learned from aerial photography into handheld.

‘Displaced’ visualizes Walls’ aims to explore the emotions with a visual aspect that you get when you are pushed out of your home. He says, “The world is full of conflict right now—I wanted to make a series that looked at what that may feel like. This project happened only because Walls met Valerie Marienko and heard her story. Marienko, a Ukrainian model who in 2021 moved out of the war-stricken Odesa, immediately connected herself with the story Walls was telling.

“Coming to America in 2021 has been hard. I felt instantly out of place leaving my home in Ukraine.”

However, now having become assimilated into the American way of life, Marienko indicates many of the produced images portray the sense of duality that she endured.

The series by Walls tries to give life to this series, with repetition and solitude, to bring that duality to life by referring to the masters like Andreas Gursky or George Byrne. Nowadays, he doesn’t take pictures but paints with a camera, copying and erasing the model carefully to evoke some emotions. The interplay of repetition, embodied by Marienko and her mirrored image, culminates in the building to a crescendo of the stifling vastness of her surroundings and speaks to a sense of both monotony and internal struggle. Walls says

Walls uses a different palette for the fiery passion, using red; for stark emptiness, using white; and for the chilling isolation, blue. Each color that has been picked to precision plays a big role in his compositions, as he says, “choreographing meaning. “Color theory is one of the tenets upon which I stand very strongly,” he told them, pointing to a color wheel that has hovered over his vision.

To learn more about Brad Walls and his series “Displaced,” you can visit him at or find him at @bradscanvas on Instagram.

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