A Nod To Monica Shows Up In Clinton Presidential Portrait


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One of the many perks of being leader of the free world is that sooner or later, somebody is going to paint your official portrait. That portrait will be hung in the National Portrait Gallery (Where else?). There’s always a big ceremony that goes along with the hanging. It’s a chance for the former President to get off a few quips about how old being the President made them look. It’s also a chance for the artist to gain recognition and probably score a few more portrait gigs.

Back in 2006, Nelson Shanks was charged with painting former President Clinton. He did. The painted was sent over to the gallery. Big ceremony. Lots of press. Good times, right? Not so fast. The Clintons, Bill and Hillary, both hate the painting. Turns out, they might have good reason to.


“The reality is he’s probably the most famous liar of all time,” Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News. “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.” Now before you think he painting Bill smoking a cigar, guess again. There is a shadow on the mantelpiece that is supposed to represent the infamous blue dress that Monica Lewinsky wore during one of her many trysts with the former President. We all know what happened to that dress. As for the shadow, Nelson explains: “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 said. “It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.” Obviously, this guy had an ax to grind and now the results are on display for the whole world to see. Lesson here? Choose your presidential portrait painter wisely.  

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