July 17, 2006

The Art of 1010 WINS

1010 WINSThe radio station 1010 WINS is for New York City what CNN Headline News is for cable television. It’s just nonstop headlines, weather, and traffic, repeating every 22 minutes. Their slogan is, “You give us 22 minutes, and we’ll give you the world.” Their website, 1010WINS.com, features local headlines and news stories mixed in with syndicated newswire stories.

But for me, the real treat is the unintentional art gallery at 1010WINS.com. Sometimes, 1010 WINS uses photos from the newswire. But often, some Photoshop Whiz Kid Artist at 1010 WINS smashes together some stock photos with a Photoshop filter and makes some of the greatest image mashups on the internet.

So I now present a small gallery of artwork from 1010 WINS that I call, “You give us 22 news stories, and we’ll give you bad art.”

The Featured Exhibit

1. Peace Grannies on Trial for Times Square Protest

1010WINSThe crown jewel of the 1010 WINS Art Collection is Peace Grannies on Trial for Times Square Protest. For a story about a group of senior citizen war protesters, the artist placed a black shadow behind one of the so-called “Peace Grannies,” representing the plight of the protester during a deadly war, even while she herself is heading to her grave. The cane represents the narrow band of freedom on which we all lean, while her hat signifies oppression from above. Her coat, of course, is the cloak of dignity. A powerful image indeed.

2. Man Charged with Having Crack in Sundae

1010WINSIt’s a classic struggle for every artist. How do you illustrate a news story about a man caught smuggling two rocks of crack cocaine in an ice cream dessert? Well, the artist at 1010 WINS found a creative way to solve that problem, using photos of crack cocaine and an ice cream sundae. By superimposing them both on a pile of powdered substance — representing both the popular drug and the sweet sugar used in making delicious desserts — he unifies the images thematically, while the black background represents the health problems implicit in too much of either substance.

3. Forecast Predicts Another Rough Hurricane Season

1010WINSThe influence of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger is obvious in this piece, which uses imagery and words in montage. When the AccuWeather Hurricane Center predicted a strong hurricane season, the 1010 WINS artist chose to ironically juxtapose two simple sandbags hurricane warning flags with the power of one giant hurricane, representing the futility of man against nature. The disproportionate scale of the flags represent mankind’s desire to hold back the winds, even as they overtake us. The label “2006 Hurricane Season” acts as a forecast, but may in the future be seen as an accurate description of what the image depicts.

4. Final Moments on Tape. Family Hears WTC Call

1010WINSNearly five years after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, audio tapes were released featuring conversations between 911 operators and people trapped in the World Trade Center. For the event, the 1010 WINS artist created this commemorative work. On the day the tapes were released, a cell phone was so clearly important — a modern technological luxury but also an icon of this day in history — that it seemed like an object as large as the towers themselves. Or perhaps slightly larger, in black and white, looking a bit like it was photocopied and then faxed a few times before being scanned in for a montage.

5. Rockland County Joins Gas Sales Tax Capping

1010WINSThe ashy, veiny hand reaches out, gas pump nozzle in hand, a stream of “S”es pouring forth from its spout like precious drops of gasoline. Together, the hand and pump give off an eerie glow as Honest Abe looks onward, his gaze obstructed by an exaggerated dot screen. George Washington is barely visible, shrouded by an orange shadow of depression. The message is clear: Rockland County joins gas sales tax capping.

The Extended Gallery

6. Fatal Shooting in Brooklyn


7. Murders on the Rise in NYC


8. Untitled


9. Westchester Law Locks Down Wireless Networks


10. Jury — Merk Liable for Vioxx Users Heart Attack


11. Subway Stabbing in Brooklyn


12. NJ University Drops SAT Scores, Gains Applicants


13. Conn. Officials - Lyme Disease up 26 Percent


14 & 15. The “Police Line” Diptych.

1010WINS 1010WINS

Individually titled, “1 Killed, 4 Injured, in Parkway Crash (Blue)” and “5 People Struck in Hit and Run (Red).”

16. FBI Commish Orders Review of 911 Tapes


17. Strong Earthquake Strikes Central Indonesia


18. Quick Thinking Student Saves Teacher with CPR


19. Rockland County Woman Arrested for ID Theft


20. Fatal Car Crash in Brooklyn


21. NYC HDC Earmarks $179m for Apt’s


22. Study - Less Time, Passengers Reduce Teen Crashes



are these real? this is hilarious.
i can’t tell which is my favourite — #9 for the sheer horror of it, or possibly #11 for the use of a kicky font to really jazz up an image they knew might be a little lacklustre. there is truly an artist at work here.

Unfortunately, many of these are taken directly from the AP graphics bank service.
A few at the top of the were put together with different elements from AP graphics, such as the hilarious crack/sundae graphic, but many of them were bought from the service exactly as you see them.
This is the standard source for broadcast graphic elements. They provide logos, headshots, video stills etc. Most graphic artists who use the service would never have the audacity to make a topical graphic for the crack/sundae story. what a badass.

Regarding #3 - those aren’t sandbags, they’re hurricane warning flags.

Nevertheless, the implied symbolism is both subtle and obvious. A masterpiece.

I love that the peace granny is actually 1970’s Soviet granny.


Still, you have to admit that 5, 8, 10, 11, and 12 are no worse than what you see on any local news show next to the anchor’s head…at least the local news from 1991.

The sundae appears to orbiting some sort of gaseous or crater-pocked planet.

#11 is definitely my favorite. Notice how the “g” in “Stabbing” mimics a knife/sharp object entering the belly of a stabbing victim. Awesome.

although CRACK SUNDAE is my overall favorite, i definitely think IDENTITY THEFT deserves a second glance. that one’s a keeper.

these are hysterical - you should do an update every six months or something.

so in #10, i see that we have blind lady justice, laying dead, spread eagle, due to a vioxx induced heart attack.

#11… stabbings are just so sassy.

all i never needed to know about cpr, i learned from #18(because everyone knows that he best way to resuscitate someone is to crush their throats or strangle them.

grat j0rb, my give up.

If you think these images are great, well, get out a bit more. The images are old and tired…

I like to think the Sundae is flying past the moon and is being chased by some crack. That makes it funnier to me.

The only thing cool about any of the other stuff is just that someone is getting paid to make it. I need to find that guy and shoot him, and then steal his job.

Thing is, if your blog’s subject had been “awful newsgraphic art, most of which I got from 1010WINS,” your post here would still be funny, and you wouldn’t have come across as clueless. A little research goes a long way.

#19 is my favorite, especially as I’m a CPR + First Aid instructor. It’s very “ZOMG DYNAMIC CPR KABLAM!!”.

How is that guy in number 22 a teenager? LOL

Makes me regret all my work done while sober. This is hysterical.

I’m not sure why the Hurricane flag gets a ‘bad art’ nod, because it is traditionally set that two flags one atop the other are to signify a hurricane. I see nothing wrong with it myself, but maybe I missed the point.

Dear lord — that ap graphicsbank site is worse than ANYTHING on this page. i think i’m going to be ill (so much movement on the page that it triggered seasickness).

whew. i need some fresh air.

Charl, #22 refers to the school bus in the background. “Teen driving” is the practice of transporting teens in a car, truck, or bus.

The guy in #22 is indeed a teenager, and doing the driving himself. It was taken from an AP photo, produced for AP GraphicsBank when I was an employee there many years ago, and I believe still retains an AP copyright. While I won’t speak for my colleagues, help me further deconstruct this image. It wasn’t one of my best, too be sure, but when you have tight news deadlines you do what you can. Thanks.

shhh, you’re gonna get them busted for stealing stock photography.