I was pleased to find out that Gatekeeper just sold. Selling should not be a sign of “worth” or “approval” and yet, it would seem to me that the sincerest form of flattery is not imitation but selling. Someone may compliment a work but may not really “value it”. Some compliments come very easily or without any real conviction. If you are actually willing to pay for a work, the praise is not abstract. The worth is clear.
It does seem shallow to desire approval but this aspect of the creative process seems intrinsic to it. Art is about making a statement. Art is about having an interaction between the work and the viewer. Sometimes the reaction is emotional, sometimes intellectual. Sometimes the reaction is a just response based on pure aesthetics and sometimes the reaction has a political or social aspect. Either way, that which evokes a reaction is worthy of being called art.