Karo elder in Ethiopia, ready to protect his village’s access to water. © Alison M. Jones
At: Bromfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., through Aug. 23. 617-451-3605,
Of the two group shows now at Bromfield Gallery, “Blow-Up,” a juried exhibit of photo-based work chosen by photographer Harvey Stein, is the better. The theme covers explosions, hugely pregnant women, inflatable toys, and weapons, and you’d think that would be all over the place, but because it’s all so extreme it hangs together beautifully.
Highlights include Alison Jones’s “Karo Elder, Ethiopia,” showing a vividly painted Ethiopian holding up a machine gun, and Andy Bloxham’s “Beta 19,” in which the photographer seems to have caught a man in the act, examining his inflatable doll with a stethoscope in bed. Andy Holzman’s “Deluge,” a black-and-white photo, illuminates driving rain, looking like a shower of sparks over a boat’s prow.
The “Blow-Up” exhibit at Bromfield Gallery.