This is my favorite work of art: Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. The first time I saw this painting, I had a real emotional reaction to it. I don't know what it is. There's just something about it that gets to me to this day. To me, this is a true work of art.
This is Jackson Pollack's No. 5, 1948. Pollack is one of those artists whose work I just don't understand. To me, it's just a bunch of paint splattered on a canvas, or in this case a piece of fiberboard. I've seen children's fingerpaint pictures that look more like art to me than Pollack's work.
An artist I recently discovered is Charles Bell. My husband, Chris, is a fan as well. He was a photorealist, and when I look as his paintings, I can't believe how much they look like photographs instead of oil paintings. This one is call Marble Swirl.
Chris is also a fan of Leonardo da Vinci (self-portrait above), but not only for his paintings. In actuality, I don't think he really pays much attention to the man's paintings. He likes him for the fact he was what we now call a renaissance man. da Vinci was a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. His insatiable curiosity led him to become one of the most diversely talented people to have ever lived. To this day, I can't think of anyone who comes close to this man's talent and achievements.
Most artists seem to agree that even if their work elicits a negative reaction, they've accomplished something. Positive or negative, the goal is to make a person think and react in some way.