Congressional Art Competition 2021

MaKayla Ash
Lady With Koi

In this piece, I displayed the diversity in feminine beauty and the strength it carries. Often in the media today, young women are bombarded with unrealistic societal beauty standards. I have struggled with body image myself in past years and aspire to help other people who are undergoing similar experiences. My goal is to show the diversity of people and urge others to find beauty in themselves. In this piece, I painted a woman with the skin condition vitiligo. I emphasized the patches on the figure’s skin through the koi fish swimming around her, as they have similar marks to the ones caused by vitiligo. Not only do the koi fish emphasize the condition and display the diversity of women, but in Japanese culture, koi fish symbolize perseverance in adversity. I believe the koi fish also bring attention to the true meaning of my artwork, finding self-acceptance takes perseverance. Through this piece, I wish someone found the comfort and motivation they needed to accept their body. Although this is not an easy challenge, I hope other women like myself can view my painting and feel empowered.