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."

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President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
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President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16, 2018: The national flags of Russia and the United States seen ahead of a meeting of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and First lady Melania Trump pose for a picture with a football during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US First Lady Melania Trump, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump (L-R) after a news conference at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a football thrown to her by U.S. President Donald Trump during his joint news conference with Russia's President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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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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