Artist claims scandal reference in Clinton portrait | Arkansas Blog

Artist claims scandal reference in Clinton portrait

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SHADOWY PAINTING: Nelson Shanks portrait of Bill Clinton.
  • SHADOWY PAINTING: Nelson Shanks portrait of Bill Clinton.

Nine years after it was unveiled, the painting of former President Bill Clinton in the National Portrait Gallery is in the news because artist Nelson Shanks told a Philadelphia newspaper that a shadow in the portrait is meant as a reference to Monica Lewinsky. From Talking Points Memo:

Artist Nelson Shanks, 77, told the newspaper that a shadow falling across the left side of the painting "literally represents a shadow from a blue dress" the artist kept on a mannequin while he worked on the painting outside of Clinton's presence.

"It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him," he added.

Shanks, who described Clinton as "probably the most famous liar of all time," said: "He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind."

Shanks contends the Clintons want the portrait removed. The National Gallery disputes that.

Speaking of Shanks, a bit of interesting background on his business.


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