Art: taste & preference. What is good art?

Interesting essay on subjective vs. objective taste in appreciating art by Paul Graham (via Reddit). I found it interesting that I share many views on art with a computer programmer…

The paragraph that got my attention:

Man-made stuff is different. For one thing, artists, unlike apple trees, often deliberately try to trick us. Some tricks are quite subtle. For example, any work of art sets expectations by its level of finish. You don’t expect photographic accuracy in something that looks like a quick sketch. So one widely used trick, especially among illustrators, is to intentionally make a painting or drawing look like it was done faster than it was. The average person looks at it and thinks: how amazingly skillful. It’s like saying something clever in a conversation as if you’d thought of it on the spur of the moment, when in fact you’d worked it out the day before.

Good stuff.