Nestled in amongst the second hand car garages and disused bingo halls of Sneinton is Mark Pearson’s Bar Vug Gum, a new exhibition which promises a mixture of ‘male bravado and cultural chauvinism’. Bar Vug Gum’s swaggering brashness is immediately evident upon entering. Right from the start, you find yourself both visually and aurally assaulted, by clashing pink and red paint and by intermittent blasts of drum & bass.
Bar Vug Gum is a curious mixture of modernism and extreme masculinity. The art is almost dangerously expressive. The dripping paint, crushed cans and violent strokes tell of rebellion, of anger, of a lust for life. By using everyday objects, such as masking tape, door knobs and newspaper, Pearson creates art that is both at once universal and everyday, whilst remaining undeniably alien. There is no comfort to be found in this exhibition, only provocation.
For some, Pearson’s work may be an acquired taste. Compared to the slick, new Nottingham Contemporary, Moot Gallery is decidedly off the beaten track. Its dingy locale and dirty brickwork are not all that welcoming and leave you feeling slightly on edge. The art work itself is unsettlingly unfamiliar and abrasive. Pearson is unashamedly frank and forthright in his message, at the expense of viewer’s ease. He wants to be confrontational; he wants you to engage. However, sometimes this is not possible. It is easy to appreciate what he is trying to do, but not so easy to get it. Perhaps the show of bravado is too much for the small gallery space or maybe he is shouting too loudly, in order to try to make himself heard over the regular blasts of deafening techno beats.
By Sophie Watson