Blagojevich portrait contest winner and runners-up
(Clockwise from left) THE WINNER: "Blago," by Thomas P. Joyce, of Chicago THE RUNNERS-UP: "Birds of a Feather," by David Barthold, of Brooklyn; "Blagojevich in Track Suit," by Andrew Ek, of Chicago; "Got a Few Calls to Make…" by Russ White, of Chicago; "Blagojevich Going Out of Buisness Sale," by Zina Saunders, of New York. For a closer look, check out the gallery »



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When Illinois lawmakers voted to ban the use of public money to pay for a portrait of the impeached governor Rod Blagojevich, Chicago invited readers to send in their likenesses of the disgraced chief executive. They answered the call, submitting dozens of entries ranging from meticulously painted portraits to goofy spoofs of movie posters. In the end, our panel of magazine-staff judges chose as the winner an oil painting of Blago in a blue pinstriped suit, his usually perfect mop of hair disheveled and his eyes gazing out despondently. The work is by Thomas P. Joyce, of Chicago, a 52-year-old part-time electrician who has been painting portraits for 25 years. “It’s easy to make fun of [Blagojevich], but I thought I’d show a more serious side,” Joyce says. “People often tell me that my paintings look sad.” While Joyce’s understated portrait perfectly captures Blago’s spirit and story, we found some runners-up that deserve recognition, too. To see all of the entries, launch the gallery »


Illustrations: Courtesy of the artists