This is a topic that is of keen interest in the art fair world.

And digital photography has screwed it all up.

Pre-digital, there was an inherent relationship between "art" and "craft". A good friend is a potter. Every piece is hand made, by him, with his own hands. No assistants contribute. When you buy a piece of Bauman Stoneware (and you should) you are getting something that the artist touched with his own hands.

Sadly, the art fairs missed this inflection point, and began allowing digital, photographic prints. No big deal, you say? Well, the problem is there is zero incremental effort involved between printing the first and printing the 1000th copy. That is a fundamental difference. An analog print is a unique thing. Even if one has highly disciplined darkroom technique, no two prints will ever be truly identical. EVERY digital print is metaphysically identical. That's a huge thing.

The pottery analog would be having someone like my friend John design the piece, and make the prototype, and then have some Chinese factory crank out a zillion of them for a nickle each.

No one would accept those factory-made copies as anything other than factory-made copies. But we accept digital prints as "authentic"?

There is more to things than how they look. How they are made matters.