I don't find "fine art" to be a pretentious term at all, or a vague term. For me, it's something that exhibits both vision (or talent, what ever that is), and some degree of skill (or craftsmanship), and usually employs fine materials that actively contribute to the final product. I find the work of Jackson Pollack to be compelling, but I'm not sure he was a craftsman. Some will, I'm sure, disagree.

As to the state of fine photography, I can only report what I see here in my neck of the woods. Friends and family seem to find it fascinating, and are always happy to receive a print as a gift........... I least I think they are. I'm not sure how "fine" my stuff is, but the two art shows I've done thus far have been very successful, both in terms of sales, and in the booth traffic and the interest that people showed. However, out of 75 artists attending, there were only two photographers. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

A friend who is a high end commercial shooter, and had never gone the art show/print sales route, is finding a brisk market for his work.

I have to think (or I want and need to think) that in this rather chilly world, an object of beauty that shows the skilled touch of a human hand will always have a market/audience. A well done fiber print is a thing of beauty, very organic, not at all plastic or digital. It's something that we know can last beyond us, it's function undiminished (another rarity in today's world).