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.)