What is the value of Vision? All art is a synthetic representation of the real world, as seen or felt by the artist. However, if we hold that art with a powerful resonance to move people inspirationally is beneficial to society, then we can suggest that 'Synthetic' art may be considered as having been made with no real 'vision' to resonate inspiringly with others.
Postmodernism has had a strange influence on art which has come to light in exhibitions and public sculpture. Philosophy and war times have influenced art which will be discussed in separate post.
With popular art, commercially viable art has to relate to the majority of people. Most people want to see 'pleasant' 'nice', 'pretty' representations of the world, which is why nature photography and textiles are so popular; because nature always shows balance of design and textiles tend to use balanced designs, the majority being influenced by nature.
We can consider what is good resonance for public consumption; be it something natural which pleases us by its reminder of the natural world or of abstract ideas which portray a vision: then we might say by comparison that art which does not have an inspiration from 'beautiful vision' lacks a philosophy which might be important to communicate - and ultimately to enhance society in any era.
Is art for the people or as self indulgence for the artist? Art is made when the artist resonates with a perception and wishes to express it. We can ask if there can be a point at which such expression has little or no quality to resonate with viewers: whether it is a 'good' or 'uplifting' visual experience, (usually the case for decorative art) or if it represents some kind of 'angst', as often in poetry and theatre.
[Note: Which symbols of civilisation and knowledge will survive as great art? Video music art is currently working in the Symbolist tradition with fantasy landscapes and symbols from a mythological past, looking to a fantastic future journey in the cosmos.]