In the fight for lamest graffiti in Houston, this year has seen some serious contenders. Back in June we told you about G.O.A.T., the prolific tagger who was spreading his name all around the Fourth Ward and beyond. Just a few weeks later, alleged vandal Uriel Landeros defaced a Picasso at the Menil Collection. Now there's a new name in the race to dumb down Houston's rich street art scene: REMÜV.
Even if I hadn't witnessed REMÜV's massive tag on the railroad bridge over I-45 just north of Downtown with my own eyes, I would have seen it eventually: on Facebook and Instagram, where several of my well-meaning friends have spread his overly-simplistic platitude: REMÜV "hate!"
Let's just chat for a minute about why this is the stupidest graffiti in Houston right now.
For one, the butchering of punctuation! The unnecessary umlaut. The use of scare quotes. I can't help reading the second word with a hint of sarcasm in my mind. Plus, dude. In this case, the punctuation goes OUTSIDE the quotation marks.
The tag at the top of this post greets northbound travels on I-45 just north of Downtown and before you get the exit for I-10. On the opposite side of the bridge is another piece of useless verbiage: "Be Someone." It's not tagged as REMÜV but it's the same saccharine sentiment and in the same style as his other tags, plus the proximity is suspicious. These were the first two REMÜV tags I saw, but soon they were popping up all over town.
A few weeks later I saw one on the oft-tagged retaining wall north of the feeder road at 610 North Loop at Ella, which has since been erased. And now there is a huge tag on the concrete bank of White Oak Bayou just north of Party Boy. Funnily enough, the faded tag next to it, which says either PACE BEAR or FACE BEAR, seems more charming. Face Bear! I want to meet that guy.
I guess the most annoying thing about REMÜV is the immaturity of it, both message-wide and stylistically. Dude has two of the most visible and ballsiest tag locations in the city -- that railroad bridge especially is so high-profile. And the best he can do with that kind of canvas is scrawl like a fourth-grader "REMÜV "hate!" At least G.O.A.T. was funny in its mediocrity.