TIME Magazine's striking new cover blends Trump and Putin into one person

  • TIME Magazine's cover for the July 30, 2018 issue morphs the faces of President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • The accompanying cover story describes the newly close relationship between the two leaders.

  • The cover was created by artist Nancy Burson, who is known for digitally combining faces.

The eye-catching cover for the July 30, 2018 issue of TIME Magazine is a striking composition of the faces of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump morphed into one face.

The accompanying cover story by Brian Bennett, titled, "Trump Wanted a Summit With Putin. He Got Way More Than He Bargained For," explores what Bennett calls Trump's "baffling" defense of Russia and friendliness toward Putin at the expense of America's NATO allies and the US's own intelligence community.

Trump shocked the international community at his July 16 summit with Putin by publicly brushing aside the consensus within his own intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as saying he was considering a deal to turn over a US diplomat to be interviewed by Russia as part of a criminal investigation.

His remarks drew strong rebukes from his own party, and led many national security and intelligence experts to warn that Trump's behavior appeared similar to that of a "controlled spy."

The cover was created by visual artist Nancy Burson, who spearheaded digitally generated facial composites with Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientists in the 1980s. In addition to art that combines faces, Burson designed technology to digitally "age" faces, which the FBI now uses to help identify missing children.

"What my work has always been about is allowing people to see differently," Burson said in a video for TIME about the cover. "The combining of faces is a different way for people to see what they couldn't see before."

"I think the best art can change people's perception of how they see how they are as human beings," she said. "Art makes everything possible and beyond."

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