I don't particularly like the niche art has generally been herded into.
It seems to be the norm in our subtly fascist* culture to speak of Art as something that
1) only people who are Born Gifted can make.
2) can be verified as good or bad by the appropriate authorities.
This leads us to what I call the Lotto model, whereby the gifted/afflicted few have no recourse but to pursue Their Passion with a singular fervor, unrewarded for years, toiling away thanklessly in their cold garret, because they are in the service of Something Greater (a phrase that's generally a dead giveaway for the fascist agenda), and therefore to hell with paying them for it. Once in a while, someone manages to Become Great, usually long after going way too far down the career-game path to have anything left of relevance to say, and riches are showered on them. No middle ground.
And it really rather sharply spikes the flavor of the art market; you're either a star or a nobody. One of the stupidest things I ever heard: my friend finally got a solo show in NYC, and called to ask how it was doing. The gallery owner said several people had called and said "I love the work, but who else is buying it?" How is that different from saying "wow, I think you're really sexy, but first, who else have you had sex with?" Um, duh?
If it doesn't have resonance with you personally, then why own it? And the biography of the maker really is of little relevance.
Rather you go find someone who makes decent work, give them a couple few grand for a piece of it, and take home something that, yes, I'll say it, looks just great over your couch, and will light you up every time you walk by it. Then, if you're so fine and rich, just give it away in two years and go buy something else.
At Burning Man, art is so everywhere that it becomes a meaningless term. It's not perched high up on an altar with its dignified provenance framed nearby; it's on your face, on your ass, it's being ripped up by the wind and sun, it's alive. Anybody can make it, anybody can get better at it, and what one person is absolutely sure sucks may be someone else's favorite thing ever.
The universe does not require your efforts, and it certainly doesn't need any nonsense about high vs. low art. You can either look up and realize that, or keep your head stuck in the mud of much smaller agendas. The forces of fascism, obviously, would rather limit your options, so everybody go run after Saatchi's latest look-at-me portfolio, and to hell with the people making stuff they really love.
The best "art" I ever experienced was a sitar concert; as I watched dust motes play and sunbeams shiver, I realized that the artist was trying to do nothing more than just be in consonance with that dance, not trying to boast of himself, just trying, humbly, to embody all life.
Which is not to say I don't value irreverence: I also loved the guy at Burning Man who just went around making this grunting yelp, that pissed off all the supposedly open-minded people.
PUNK ROCK MAN!!! NGYAAARRR!!!!
When I was in art school, the meanest dismissal was to call something "party art", meaning just a forgettable outburst of enthusiasm. Rethinking that; seems to me that if the universe wants anything at all, it wants to be entertained, and it seems to have a twisted sense of humor, to put it mildly. Make a mess, there's nowhere for it to go. Blow off the striving, run around with your dirty ass out, throw the bone right at that doggie in the reflection.
*by fascism, I mean the situation whereby people unconsciously give away their own genuine power to some other figure/Truth (and even supress awareness of having done so), which they then swarm around as the source of all their power. Most people prefer very limited freedom, and need such assurances that their fumbling choices are in fact GOOD and RIGHT. Which leads us also to "Essentialism", the bedrock of fascism: any argument that boils down to "good" or "bad" or "right" or "wrong" is just a failure, and may be disregarded. Also leads us to its retarded cousin, "received meaning", which refers to deeply-held beliefs that are beyond inspection; most of the things people will beat you up for (i.e. homophobia, xenophobia, drug phobia, religious horseshit, etc.) fall under this category.