AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari
Isn’t there always more than what meets the eye?
The artist who painted the official White House portrait of President Bill Clinton just revealed a major secret about his work. Turns out he totally included a reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“If you look at the left-hand side of it, there’s a mantel in the Oval Office,” Nelson Shanks revealed to the Philadelphia Daily News. “I put a shadow coming into the painting, and it does two things. It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there.”
He added, “It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
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As we all remember, Clinton had an affair with the White House intern which led to his impeachment in 1998. It’s one of the reasons Shanks had such a difficult time capturing his image during the job.
“The reality is he’s probably the most famous liar of all time. 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.”
So does Mr. and Mrs. Clinton know about this special meaning? You bet and they’re not exactly fans.
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According to Shanks, both the President and former First Lady “hate the portrait” and “want it removed” from the National Portrait Gallery. A spokesperson told the publication, however, that they have not received any pressure from the political couple.
This isn’t the first time Shanks has made news for his portrait.
When the photo was first released in 2006, some critics voiced their disapproval that a wedding ring was missing from the President’s hand. Shanks has yet to explain that little element.
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