The artist who painted the 2006 portrait of former President Bill Clinton that now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery said the piece includes a reference to Monica Lewinsky — one he purposely put there.
The “shadow” of the infamous blue, semen-stained dress worn by the former Clinton intern to one of her Oval Office encounters with the president was added, artist Nelson Shanks told Stephanie Farr in a Philadelphia Daily News interview.
Calling Clinton “probably the most famous liar of all time,” he told the newspaper that he “could never get this Monica thing completely out of [his] mind,” prompting him to include the subtle reminder.
“If you look at the left-hand side of it [the painting], there’s a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things,” Shanks said.
“It actually, literally, represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he [Clinton] was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
He also said the former president and first lady aren’t fans of the painting.
“And so the Clintons hate the portrait,” Shanks said. “They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They’re putting a lot of pressure on them.”
However, the Daily News said a spokeswoman for the National Portrait Gallery denies that.
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