Part of a quote from the preface to Oscar Wilde's well-known work, "The Picture of Dorian Gray". In context:
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.
At first, this sounds like a corollary to the notion of art for art's sake. But when combined with the sentence that precedes it, another idea emerges. "All art is useless, and the only excuse for making a useless thing is that someone admires it." Perhaps the artist, perhaps its purchaser. But as long as someone places personal value on the art, then it has a purpose.
Some time ago, I noded a brief rant about the absurd proliferation of "art" which is supposed to be radical, or profound, or thought-provoking, or possibly just controversial, but is clearly not intended to be attractive. It's nonsense which has no home except for the walls of the closest Center for Contemporary Art. It's painting and collage and scupture which originates from someone who clearly has no training in the craft of creating art, who just throws together ideas and expects them to be considered "art" because no one else has done it first.
One imagines that the first child who prided himself on his ability to laugh milk out of his nose felt the very same way.
Art is meant to be admired. It is meant to be appreciated. It is meant to be enjoyed, because if no one enjoys it, the art is incapable of carrying its message any further than the observer's short-term memory.
It's a well-known truism that you can't please all of the people all of the time, so it's a waste of time for an artist to try to make his work attractive to every patron of the arts. But if Wilde is correct, then you don't have to. It just has to be attractive to someone, to, at the very least, one person out there. If the artist is that one person, so be it. But as a patron of the arts myself, I think it's my right to expect that one admirer to be a requisite minimum.
Or, as someone somewhere has already said: Earn your bullshit.