‘I felt I was pushing myself’—Monica Lewinsky on why she sat for Marilyn Minter


Monica Lewinsky spills the beans on what sitting for the artist Marilyn Minter is really like in a candid tell-all piece in Vanity Fair. Lewinsky made headlines worldwide in the mid 1990s when she became caught up in a sex scandal with the then President Bill Clinton, leading to his impeachment. Minter’s portrait of Lewinsky features in a show at LGDR gallery in New York (until 3 June) which also includes the artist’s depictions of Lady Gaga, the writer Roxane Gay and, in a meta twist, the artists Glenn Ligon and Mickalene Thomas.

“When Marilyn said she wanted to paint me, I was flattered…but also trepidatious. My relationship to my own image is complicated, to say the least,” Lewinsky writes, adding: “Marilyn says she chose us all as subjects because we are ‘a metaphor for the times we live in’. I’m proud to be included in this illustrious group, and I like the metaphor conceit. It chimes with my belief that, during the Clinton scandal, I became a social canvas. Anyone could project their issues onto me—and believe me, they did!” At the end of the piece, Lewinsky says she tested her boundaries by giving up her “portrait virginity” to Minter (go Monica).


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