Not long after news broke out that Jeffrey Epstein had a painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress in his mansion, the story behind the picture began unfolding.
The Washington Examiner reported that the artist who painted the portrait of former President Bill Clinton in a blue dress said that it was a “complete surprise” to learn that Jeffrey Epstein, the alleged child sex trafficker, had her work hanging in his home.
Australian artist living in New York City, Petrina Ryan-Kleid said, “When the [New York Academy of Art] put on a fundraiser at the Tribeca Ball that year, they sold my painting to one of the attendees. I had no idea who the buyer was at the time.”
The existence of the oil-on-canvas painting, dubbed “Parsing Bill”, depicts Bill Clinton sitting seductively in the Oval Office, wearing red heels and a blue dress reminiscent of the one he soiled during his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Ryan-Kleid stated that she had been a graduate student at the New York Academy of Art in 2012, where she painted pictures of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as part of her thesis.
“As with most of my paintings, I had completely lost track of this piece when it was sold seven years ago,” she said. “So it was a complete surprise to me to learn yesterday that it wound up in Epstein’s home.”
Epstein put out a press release in December 2012 claiming his charitable foundation had given “crucial funding” to the New York Academy of Art.
“It was hanging up there prominently — as soon as you walked in — in a room to the right,” said one source who had seen the bizarre painting, as the New York Post reported. “Everybody who saw it laughed and smirked.”
Jeffrey Epstein’s $56 million Manhattan home on East 71st Street off Central Park was reportedly filled with many other strange decorations, including a mannequin in a wedding dress suspended from the ceiling. His’s unique artistic tastes also carried over into his architectural projects, such as the mysterious domed temple-like structure on his private island in the Caribbean.