Mary Ellen Derwis & Joe Balaz / NEW BOOK

Posted: July 21, 2010 in book review, collaboration, Digital Art, visual poetry
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What follows is a blurb I wrote for EXPANDING THE RADIUS, by Mary Ellen Derwis & Joe Balaz (also residents of  my own state of Ohio). You may very well want to purchase this book, as I’ve received a reviewer’s copy recently (originally I wrote my review by viewing a PDF file) and the color print job by Lulu P.O.D. is EXCELLENT as usual, with crisp and gorgeous color saturated  images. The front/back covers are RIGHT ON THE MARK.

(Click the following book title to go to Editor: Mark Young’s, Otoliths website for a preview of the book:)
EXPANDING THE RADIUS /Full color paperback book; 72 pages $24.95

Early on in EXPANDING THE RADIUS, Mary Ellen Derwis gives us an untitled narrative sequence of digital art, hinting at the human form, which picks up again towards the end of the book in a more figurative sequence— “Rendezvous”. Intimate portraits, wider anthropological insights, and other strongly titled art also prevail. Among other tightly woven directives, Joe Balaz includes multi-paged narrations “High in Blue”, “Fairly Textual”, and “The Industrial Poet”. Then there are the collaborations which find a distinct third voice, as often happens when two people are so creatively in synch. The book ends with two of Mary Ellen’s urban shots that include typographical symbols and a similar photo, a final pun by Joe— “C and Leave”. Many of these images have appeared separately in the quarterly “Otoliths”; now it’s a pleasure to see/read this combined three headed body of always direct, sometimes humorous, often profound digital art, visual poetry, and collaborations. —C. Mehrl Bennett

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