I too think that 2F has hit the nail on the head. Perfection of craft/technique/skill, the making of 10000 negatives, etc, may certainly aid one's ability to make a certain kind of art or even art generally. But it is clearly possible to produce powerful photographic art with a limited or narrow technical mastery.

Often, I think, an obsession with technical mastery simply helps those of us who are not great artists to bridge the gap slightly, or at least allows us to pretend to ourselves that we are bridging the gap

Ian