Artist Hid 'Monica's Dress' in Official Clinton Portrait

It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2015 12:07 PM CST
Artist Hid 'Monica's Dress' in Official Clinton Portrait
Former President Bill Clinton, left, is seen on March 9, 2004 in New York. Monica Lewinsky, is shown in an undated promotional photo provided by Fox.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer/FOX, S.Jones, File)

Nelson Shanks' portrait of Bill Clinton is in the National Portrait Gallery—and in a new interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, the artist reveals the reason the Clintons, he says, want it removed. The former president is "probably the most famous liar of all time," Shanks says, explaining that the artist "could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind." So he decided to "subtly" incorporate Lewinsky into the portrait, he says.

"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. 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," Shanks says. "It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him." As for Shanks' claim that the Clintons are trying to have the National Portrait Gallery remove the painting, the gallery denies that. (See the portrait here.)

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