Arts & Culture

The Banksy of Baltimore

Reed Bmore has built a local following for his thought-provoking wire sculptures.

The artist known as Reed Bmore has to do a bit of mental gymnastics each time he introduces himself to someone new. The Hampden-based creator is responsible for the bootleg wire sculptures hanging from various telephone wires across Baltimore, and, for obvious reasons, prefers to remain anonymous. A quick Google search—or Caller ID display—reveals his actual name, but we’ll honor his request and stick with Reed Bmore for now.

A Maryland College Institute of Art alum, Bmore has been hanging wire sculptures—animals, video game characters, and Pokémon, among others—for about five years. He acknowledges that what he does could be considered vandalism, but he also points out that city officials only seem to mind when his subject matter is controversial. Chief among them: the sculpture that depicted Healthy Holly hogtied and horizontal during then-mayor Catherine Pugh’s final days in office. It took him about three hours to create and was removed from the intersection near Fayette and Gay Streets only a few hours later. “Worth it,” he says.

His desire for anonymity goes back to his youth as a graffiti artist, but he also wants his art to speak for itself. “In my eyes, wire sculpture is a very small part of who I am,” he says. “[Maintaining anonymity] gives me some leeway to express different avenues within myself.”

Bmore began creating his wire sculptures 10 years ago, but it was when he began hanging them around town and sharing his art on Reddit that things really took off. In the beginning, he was cranking out work at a high volume, eager to make his mark on Baltimore. But now that he has established some notoriety, he’s been able to slow that pace and only produce art that’s meaningful to him.

Still, anonymity remains the key. He wants to separate the street artist Reed Bmore from his life in the real world. But that presents an interesting paradox: Bmore runs a sculpture-focused Instagram account where followers can contact him for personalized work. He’s also planning to showcase some of his smaller pieces during an exhibit in August at Creative Labs in Hampden.

So how does he balance promoting himself while also maintaining his anonymity? He’s still working on that. “I build my artwork on bullshit and doing whatever I feel,” he says. “I just want to have fun and perpetuate lightheartedness and start conversation.”