Bill Clinton Portrait Contains Hidden Monica Lewinsky Reference, Painter Says
Artist Nelson Shanks claimed the Clintons hate the painting and want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery.
Artist Nelson Shanks snuck a Monica Lewinsky reference into his Bill Clinton painting for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that he intentionally painted a shadow of a dress into the portrait to represent the "shadow" the Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment left on Clinton's presidency. The shadow can be seen under the plant in the left part of the painting.
"The reality is he's probably the most famous liar of all time," said Shanks, claiming Clinton was nervous while he posed for the painting in 2006. "He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting."
"If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office, and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things," said Shanks. "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 was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him."
According to Shanks, the Clintons hate the portrait and want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery, although a spokesperson for the gallery denied this claim to the Philadelphia Daily News. Shanks has also painted Princess Diana and Pope John Paul II.