Art fascinates (or even entrances) because it represents the truest form of expression and in doing so achieves a form of transcendent beauty.
From carvings etched into the stones and bones and other skeletal traces of ancient civilisations to the evolution of pigments to paint. And from there to paintings. And from there to Banksy:
From the first drum beat to sheet music and orchestras to Napster and Spotify and DJs and samples and loops to a sound engineer’s board in an app on your phone.
From pinhole photography to the Box Brownie and the stately majesty of the Silver Screen...
...all the way to Photoshop - the truest expression of an art form remains a matter of craft.
Even Photoshop. Just compare the product of an amateur to that of a professional and it doesn’t take a very stable genius to figure out why only one of them gets paid for their efforts.
Photoshop is in many ways to graphics what movable type was to the engravers of the plates used for printing.
Some people deplored that bit of progress. Mostly the ones who already had access to the wealth of information the press made available to all.
They still needed plates for everything that wasn’t text, though. For the times when the pictures said it all.
Art is art. Sometimes one artist’s art might require the distortion or adulteration of another’s but if the craft is up to the task and the intention sincere the result can still be art.
But not everything makes the cut. Not everything counts. Particularly when just about every place you look you find yourself tripping over another derivative knock-off.
One can paint a pretty picture of the pretty picture they are painting like a narcissist trapped between two mirrors in an infinite regression of self-admiration...but that doesn’t make one an artist.
Carbon copies ruined art.