My personal take on contemporary art is that it is produced, defined, analyzed, valued and consumed by an increasingly rarified and limited subset of highly educated and extremely affluent people.
I'd strongly disagree with the assertion that it's a rich person's game with regard to the creators. A photographer who name escapes me off hand and fits right into the art world photography ethos, did so by documenting his desperately poor background. In the UK you didn't have to have money to go to art school either. Art is not just a middle class thing.
A few may earn some money, but that's another thing altogether and nothing wrong with that.
And Art has always
been funded by the affluent and always will be. At least someone is funding it, so I wouldn't complain too much, as most Art wouldn't have existed without patronage. Mainly as Art is essentially worthless, if it had intrinsic value then it would be commercial work not art. Such as design/crafts output.
"Challenging" (i.e., incomprehensible or hideous) is a term of praise, while "accessible" (i.e., comprehensible or beautiful) has become a term of derision. As a result, contemporary art now occupies a distant Olympian region so far removed from the interests, tastes and experiences of the average educated lay audience that it's become utterly irrelevant to public discourse. This in my judgment makes it a complete failure as art.
Or not to your taste. Many art forms that are now very acceptable were hideous rubbish in their time too. Impressionisn, Van Gogh for example. All new music listened to by teenagers is rubbish according to parents and their parents told them the same in their time too. Though sadly, of late music stopped being rebellious and is now completely inoffensive and bland as it simply recyles the past. Again and again and again.
A few generations ago, artists such as Ansel Adams, William Carlos Williams, Thomas Hart Benton or John Steuart Curry were part of a robust public forum of images and ideas, and their work was accessible to most any educated adult, which is not for a moment to say that their content was simple. Today mainstream contemporary art is virtually incomprehensible even to educated folks favorably disposed to try understanding it. I guess that's considered a feature, not a bug. And that to me sums up the problem with it.
All modern art is considered rubbish until time passes when it becomes iconic, unlike the new modern rubbish! WCW's work was probably avant garde at one time. Ansel Adams was hardly a wacky artist, simply a very good one working fairly uncontroversialy. Some of Benton's stuff would be way out for some and Curry's stuff looks amateurish to me.
Also, why should art be accessible? TV or films made acccessible is usually accused of being dumbed down. So you cannot win either way.