The artist who painted the portrait of former President Bill Clinton wearing a blue dress told the Washington Examiner that it was a “complete surprise” to learn that Jeffrey Epstein, the alleged child sex trafficker, had her work hanging in his Manhattan home.
Petrina Ryan-Kleid, an Australian artist living in New York City, 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 the former president sitting seductively in an Oval Office chair, wearing red heels and a blue dress reminiscent of the one he soiled during his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Ryan-Kleid said 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 master’s thesis.
“As with most of my paintings, I had completely lost track of this piece when it was sold seven years ago,” Ryan-Kleid continued. “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, according to the New York Post. “Everybody who saw it laughed and smirked.”
The New York Post also said Epstein had a mannequin in a wedding dress hanging from the ceiling.
The existence of the painting in Epstein’s home was first revealed on Wednesday by the Daily Mail, who shared a picture of the piece that a visitor to Epstein’s home had managed to snap while discussing a business proposal with Epstein in October 2012.
After Epstein was arrested in July, Clinton put out a press release saying he had no knowledge of Epstein’s alleged crimes while admitting he’d taken four trips on Clinton on Epstein’s infamous “Lolita Express.” But a Washington Examiner review of the flight logs revealed Clinton had taken at least 27 flights totaling at least six trips, not just four, with Epstein around the world. Clinton has yet to explain this discrepancy.
The painting of Clinton is just one example of the strange of art which Epstein displayed throughout his homes, including rows of eyeballs which he used to display in his hallway, nude paintings, a human-sized chessboard with figurines modeled after his employees, and more.
Epstein’s odd artistic tastes were not limited to artwork and include the mysterious temple-like building on Little St. James, Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean. The FBI raided the so-called “ Pedophile Island” on Monday.
The Bureau of Prisons said Saturday that Epstein was found “unresponsive in his cell” in the special housing unit that morning following “an apparent suicide.”