A matter of taste
Is taste wholly subjective? I don't think so and neither does this guy in this excellent discussion of what "good taste" is and why it should be indulged. I find it particularly pertinent because he asks why anyone should bother improving when everything is equally good.
Why indeed? The Emins and Hirsts of this world, because they seek to be without any means of comparison, rob themselves of aspiration. Maybe it is only a personal thing to me, that desire to reach a height. Maybe the height is only real for me, because of my cultural and personal circumstances. Maybe I think I don't like it because we all wear knickers, but don't all think them worth displaying. Maybe.
But looking at the guy who having seen van Gogh's swirly paintings copied the idea in the van Gogh Museum, I couldn't help feeling that, had van Gogh never existed, this guy's painting would never have made it into a gallery (the painting in question is not on the website, but it's an excellent site giving a real insight into the painter and his life). It lacks that something that makes this something very special.
For me, there is no comparison to be made between Emin and van Gogh. One has a tremendous talent for self-publicising and none whatsoever for art; the other is the opposite. Of course, the former is what counts in today's world, but while I acknowledge that, I do not celebrate it, and what is more, I do not pursue it. I may be frustrated in achieving my goals, but while it's true that I am only trying to achieve them for myself, what will it matter?