What is the purpose of art today? When can art be said to “work well”?
This question is not one of aesthetics – whether an object of art is deemed pleasing to the eye, successful in composition, masterful in technique: “That art works well”.
The question relates to value – whether a work of art can be put to work: “This artwork adds value. This artwork activates/enriches/empowers/invigorates me. I am altered by this artwork”.
Work, then, does not refer to the type of labor associated with putting one’s nose to the grindstone.
It refers to a labor of love, the action of least resistance, an approach of non-interference.