I think we all contemplate artistic merit sometimes. We see art of all forms everywhere.
 Living in NYC I am constantly confront with new, often modern and abstract paintings and sculptures. I love that about New York. But I 
What makes for an objectively good work of art? Is there such a thing? If not what, at least, is my subjective concept is 
I’ve always loved looking at an artist’s sketches. It started with a fascination with sketches of the true masters like Dad Vinci and Michaelangelo …. You’ll sometimes see an exhibition with this … They’re just raw and beautiful … It’s the closest connection between you and the artist because their is so little abstraction between the artists creation and you … Only the mind of the artist to the charcoal to the paper to you own eyes and into your own mind. 
Everything beyond this in art is some form of abstraction that makes it more challenging for you to evaluate and that renders objective appraisal impossible. 
I like that with sketches that are making an attempt at naturalism we have this even playing field for evaluation …