Blagojevich stencil appears in Chicago

Blagojevich art: Graffiti stencil of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich appears around city

Capturing the image

Evan McGinley makes a cell phone photo of a stenciled image of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in an alley just south of Washington Street between State Street and Wabash Avenue, across from Macy's in downtown Chicago. (Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez / April 30, 2009)

A mysterious mural has turned up on a half-dozen concrete walls around the city in recent weeks. The black graffiti stencil shows former Gov. Rod Blagojevich wearing his familiar tracksuit, running through the street and glancing over his shoulder, as if he is being pursued. The image leaves it to the viewer to speculate about who is trailing Blago -- U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, perhaps?

Reminiscent of the work of Banksy, the London street artist, and Shepard Fairey, the creator of the Barack Obama Hope poster, the Blago stencil began appearing in early April. It has been spotted in a downtown alley behind the Macy's on State Street and on a viaduct at the corner of West 16th Street and South Union Avenue.

Like most street art, the creator leaves no signature. (The practice is illegal, after all.) But Pilsen artist Ray Noland, 36, is currently selling a first-edition poster of the image titled "Run, Blago, Run!" for $75 on his Web site, Noland -- who ran an unofficial Obama street art campaign last year -- declined to comment on how his Blago design ended up on the street and suggested that anyone could have appropriated his image. "I just make the graphics," he said.

However, Noland did hint that urbanities should keep their eyes open for more images, which he predicted "will probably continue to pop up around the city."