If including a reference to one of the biggest presidential scandals of all time in said president’s official portrait isn’t the best example of trolling of all time, then I don’t know what is. It takes a lot of balls to slip a Monica Lewinsky reference into Bill Clinton’s official presidential portrait, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, especially since it’s common knowledge that the Clintons hate it. You can imagine the set of stones on the artist who painted it, Nelson Shanks.
According to Shanks, he did it because President Clinton is “probably the most famous liar of all time.”
In an interview with Philly.com, he explained his reasoning behind the subtle Lewinsky reference:
“Clinton was hard. I’ll tell you why. 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.
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. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
— POLITICO (@politico) March 2, 2015
Yikes. Now I can’t un-see it. Of course, it’s a bit too narrow to be Ms. Lewinsky’s frame; as you know, Bubba liked ’em thick, like a real man. This is the same portrait that, back when it was first unveiled, stirred up a ton of controversy for portraying Clinton without his wedding ring.
Personally, I think it should be more of a controversy that his fingers look like two giant dicks. Seriously, this artist has no fucking idea how to draw dimensions or perspective. It looks like he’s smuggling hams out of the White House in his left sleeve, which, for all we know, he might have. The man loves to eat. He is a damn hero for fat men everywhere.
According to Shanks, the Clintons are lobbying the hell out of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., to try and have it taken down. However, a spokesperson for the gallery denies that anyone has been contacted by the Clintons for any such matter.
Unless the Clintons are successful in having the portrait taken down, it looks like we’ll be able to see Bubba standing in the Oval Office, staring down some grade A tail for years to come, just like the founding fathers intended..