This is totally stolen from Pav ages ago. I put it up on G+ but am now putti g it here for posterity.
He posted up some of his favourite pictures earlier, with a little bit about why he liked each one. As he said, art is a really personal thing and sharing what we like is an intimate act. It's sharing a lot of what we are, who we are, how we see the world.
And so I figured since he was sharing, I'd share too.
1) The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Pieter Brueghel the Elderhttp://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Pieter_Brueghel_the_Elder/rebel.jpeg
I had this picture as a poster on my bedroom wall for years when I was a teenager. I saw it first in Brussels, visiting with my family when I was a kid, and fell in love with it immediately. I don't know why exactly. I know I love the complexity of it, the depth, the fact that every time you go back there, there is more to see. I love the mix of the ugly and the beautiful, the graceful and the grotesque. And I love the grotesque. I think everyone knows I love the grotesque.
2) Tiger in a Tropical Storm or Surprised! by Henri Rousseauhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Surprised-Rousseau.jpg
You know, I love this picture for the same reason I love all of Rousseau's work. He wasn't painting from life. He was painting purely from his own imagination. He never left France. The tiger, the tropical storm, all of it, was inspired by visits to the botanical gardens in Paris. And so when I see the painting, I see a man's daydreams. I see the places he went in his mind when he couldn't go there himself. I see his own weird version of role playing, I think, pretending to be a man who had seen a tiger (even if the tiger in his mind looks rather more like a cat than a tiger) and I think you can all understand why that might appeal to me.
3) Empire of Light by Rene Magrittehttp://annex.guggenheim.org/collections/media/full/76.2553.102_ph_web.jpg
I saw this in Venice, again, with my family, and just stood there in the Peggy Guggenheim museum, staring at it for ages. It's one of a series, I later found out, and I like them all. I don't quite know why. I think it's the juxtaposition I like, the weirdness of the sun so perfectly spreading out only nighttime shadows, the way the impossible blends so perfectly together. I like surrealism in general, and this one has the advantage of also being very pretty.
4) Sunflowers by Vincent Van Goghhttp://www.vangoghgallery.com/catalog/image/0454/Still-Life:-Vase-with-Fifteen-Sunflowers.jpg
Not very exciting, and probably quite cliche, but I love Van Gogh's sunflowers. Have done ever since I saw them at the National Gallery. They are just so bright, so colourful, I think you can't help but smile. Plus, I love sunflowers. There's also a story I was originally told about them (which I now think may be untrue) which is that the painting was originally painted to hang on the wall of Van Gogh's spare bedroom. He had been very depressed for a while, but had been cheered by news that a friend was coming to visit. And so, for me, the picture came to represent hope, and hope for happiness, even when one's brain isn't being very much fun.
5) Mother Goose by Arthur Rackhamhttp://www.collectorsprints.com/_images/rackham/picture/mother-goose-400.jpg
This is another ugly-pretty picture. I've always loved Arthur Rackham's work - I had a load of his pictures on my wall when I was a kid - but I don't like the pretty fairies nearly as much as I like the goblins. I find the goblins fascinating to look at, wonderfully grotesque and, in their weird faces and angles, much prettier than the fairies ever really could be at all.
Plus I like goblins. I identify with them.
So those are my pictures. How about yours?