Nature contains the elements, in color and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick, and choose, and group with science, these elements, that the result may be beautiful--as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he brings forth from chaos glorious harmony.
--James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Whistler defended this painting, his "Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), in court when he sued art critic John Ruskin, who accused Whistler of "flinging a pot of paint in the public's face" for libel. He won the case, but received only a farthing in damages and got stuck with the court costs, which ended up ruining him financially.
Now, doesn't that just make you want to go and scandalize someone with your sensualist ways? Maybe I shouldn't implicate you, but I bet I'm at least partly right. Maybe don't take your hater to court, maybe that's part of the lesson.