Ray Noland (b. 1972, Chicago, IL) lives and works in Berlin, Germany since 2012. He is an artist and designer formally working under the alias CRO. Noland has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1995) and has worked as art director for Scion & URB Magazines. His clients include, Ogilvy & Mather, Arc Worldwide, Burrell, FCB Draft, Eat/Drink & Vessel Ideation among others. His art & illustrations have been published in Straight No Chaser, Beautiful Decay, Victionary, ExitStrategy, Faesthetic, Yo! What Happened to Peace, Lumpen, CannabisNow and XLR8R.
During the 2008 Presidential election, Noland gained national attention with his street-art campaign GoTellMama! His striking images of Barack Obama appeared throughout Chicago and across the country in the streets and alleyways. The concept was particularly interesting because of its contemporary, urban aesthetic, which proudly defied traditional campaign propaganda and stood apart from the street graffiti most of us are accustomed to seeing. In 2009, Noland followed up that campaign with a series entitled Run, Blago Run! As the former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevic pleaded his innocence on television, his image started appearing on Chicago buildings.
Noland also wrote the foreword to Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints by Hal Elliott Wert. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Chicago Urban Art Society, Chicago, IL; HVW8 Art + Design Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; EURO RSCG, Chicago, IL; and Wertz Contemporary, Atlanta, GA. He has exhibited in group exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL; and South-Side Community Art Center, Chicago, IL. Press includes Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, ArtSlant, PopMatters, Chicago Reader and New City. His work is in the collections of The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.