Outstanding analysis Maris!
Commercialism rules over art in terms of volume and activity in most places at most times. Pictures showing what things look like are universally powerful in attracting attention, modifying thought, and maybe turning a dollar. People have always wanted pictures but getting them was difficult.
In the old days there were only paintings. Paintings were slow to produce, skill intensive, and expensive. People didn't really want paintings, they wanted pictures, but paintings were all that was available.
The invention of photography changed that. Commerce ditched paintings and adopted photographs. But photographs were still somewhat effortful to produce and still cost money. Again, pictures was what was desired and photographs were the least nasty form available at the time. Digital picture-making is now more facile and cheaper than photography and it is currently the preferred choice for generating pictures. Unfortunately digital still takes some work so it in turn will be superceded by an easier cheaper way of getting pictures into people's heads. Maybe that will be by WiFi brain implants or telepathy.
The old media of painting, photography, and digital will continue but not as a way of showing what bits of the external world look like. Rather they will serve as a vehicle for transferring the state of mind of a creative artist to the mind of a receptive viewer; art not commerce.