Time Magazine probably isn’t on the best of terms with the current President of the United States since their little spat over their Person of the Year issue last year, but that doesn’t mean they need to take it out on our innocent eyes. To commemorate the now-infamous U.S.-Russia Summit in Helsinki, Finland this week, Time published a cover featuring Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The truly terrifying part is that they merged the two men’s faces together to make one person. A poignant statement, for sure, but also something we all probably could have lived our lives without.
— TIME (@TIME) July 19, 2018
And if we could have lived without the still cover, we definitely didn’t need a morphing video version, Time.
The cover accompanies a story entitled, “Trump Wanted a Summit With Putin. He Got Way More Than He Bargained For” which delves into the Trump-Putin relationship and Trump’s weird affinity for Russia and its leader. It’s a good read and resolves by reminding us all that Donald Trump can’t single-handedly destroy democracy, but people are more focused on the shocking visual than the actual article content.
— Tracy Humphrey (@TracyHumphreyTV) July 19, 2018
Remarkable. Accurate. TERRIFYING. pic.twitter.com/MyWilP6vTh
— Middle Aged Gambino (@bored_in_jersey) July 19, 2018
For some reasdon this reminds me of Voldemort
— Wpp’98 (@wpp98YT) July 20, 2018
They’re both a couple of creepers🤮
— Michelle Unthank (@MichelleUnthank) July 20, 2018
— A Hinton Sainz, NBCT (@mshintonsainz) July 20, 2018
Scary picture but not half as scary of the reality of the meaning behind it. Start profiling Trump supporters, as well. Activate. Don’t spoon feed us, anymore.
— CYNTHIA (@My2Two2Cents) July 20, 2018
The photo also inspired some copycat images that were just as disturbing as the original. Shout out to the internet’s unparalleled Photoshop skills.
— GuillaumeTC (@GuillaumeTC) July 19, 2018
— Hayan (@HAyan744) July 20, 2018
— PhotochoPP (@photochopeando) July 19, 2018
Time also did a separate piece on the cover artwork and the woman behind it. The image was created by visual artist Nancy Burson who has spent the majority of her career experimenting with altering human faces by either aging them or merging them with others. The composite images she is known for can blend any number of faces from just two to dozens to create a completely unique, but also eerily familiar portrait. We believe that’s what Sigmund Freud referred to as “uncanny.”
“I think it’s a really good time to be doing this kind of piece,” Burson said in a taped interview for Time, “As far as I’m concerned, dictatorships and democracies do not align; they just don’t go together. And, ironically, the image is of the two of them together so that was the basis of this cover.”
“The combining of faces is a different way for people to see what they couldn’t see before.” Chilling.