If Tracy Emin made a million beds, the beds would be worth less. But then, if Tracy Emin made a million beds, Saatchi wouldn't try to sell her bed to his friends.
Hirst's dots go for between $50k and $1.3m. There are a thousand of them. That fuckin' shark, of which there is one, sold for at least $8m. Hirst has figured out the same angle as Kinkade - sell for less, make it up on volume. But he couldn't have done that if it weren't for the fuckin' shark.
Here's an equivalent: watches.
Nobody needs a mechanical object capable of calculating hebrew holidays. But if you're the only one who has one, you must be rich. Richer than they are.
Clearly - there is more technical competence, more effort, more skill that goes into that technically useless object than go into Hirst's dots. But that thing allows Vacheron to sell Patrimonys for $14k.
The signaling among watches is extreme - you probably know Rolex, Seiko and maybe TAG Heuer. The in-group knows the Holy Trinity is three companies you've never heard of and Seiko is something you buy at the mall. Meanwhile they spend their money on things that you can't even figure out what time it is:
You could see that lying on the street and figure it was a cheap piece of shit that came out of a vending machine. Pick it up and you'd start to wonder. I could tell you there are ten of them and they list for a shade over $2m and you would have no idea why.
That's why. Because you can go to a store and "waste" six grand on a Rolex but it would never occur to you to pay apartment-complex money for something that ugly.
The old masters had things you couldn't have. The new masters have things you can't have. Same same. And I reiterate: that you're more likely to want the things the old masters had makes their tastes less refined, not more.
(for the record, I hope my tastes never "refine" that much)