I love art. Seriously love it. So much so, I have a degree in it. Yup, a BA in Art, specifically graphic design with an emphasis on illustration. I worked as a graphic designer for about a decade, created a few line art illustrations and custom logos, but mostly ads and such. I left the biz in the spring of 2004, a long time ago, but I still do my own covers (for the ebooks, anyway) make an occasional logo, do custom floor maps of places in my books (you can see M's house here) and, well, other graphic-designy things, like custom chapter head graphics, like this one currently on SPORE's chapter two and my own quilt designs.
Anyway, I have a confession to make that might rattle a few artistic cages. I cannot stand Picasso. Eeeeyuck. I'm not saying the man wasn't talented - he was, in some ways, a freaking genius - but as far as I'm concerned, the only decent piece of art he created after his blue period (that and everything before was amazing) was The Guernica. All the rest? Well marketed crap. Being 'Picasso', and all the fame and attention (and sex, booze, money and parties) that went with it became the focus, not the art itself. He was already slipping into the embrace of his own greatness by his rose period, and, well, his ego pretty much took over after that.
Now don't be telling me that I don't like cubism(1), or surrealism(2), native influenced(3), or anything abstract(4) or even post-modern(5), because that's simply untrue.
Let's talk about Matisse for a bit. He was a decade older, yet a contemporary - and rival - of Picasso, and also delved in many of the same early 20th century styles. Soft spoken, grounded, a man who created art because to not create was impossible. Often penniless, he was also a musician, a sculptor, and a teacher, always a compulsive creative force. Nothing mattered but the art. Even late in life, when he could no longer hold a paintbrush, he could hold scissors. Yes, scissors. Some of his most famous works are just that, shapes cut with scissors.
Matisse could kick Picasso's artistic butt any day of the week, mostly because Picasso's ego would make him too top heavy.
That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. ;)
(1) Nude Descending Staircase by Marcel Duchamp
(2) Swans Reflecting Elephants by Salvador Dali
(3) The Dance by Henri Matisse
(4) Composition Eight by Wassily Kadinskiy
(5) Eye in the Heat by Jackson Pollock