Georgia O’Keefe (?) said, “Collectors purchase art through their ears, not their eyes.” In other words, they spend according to what they’ve been told, not what they can see with their own eyes.
One of my theories on "Why some and not others?" is this;
Reputations are made during an artist's lifetime with sales and exhibitions generated by critical, editorial, and publicity writing.
Reputations after death are supported by auctions, retrospectives, important collections, and perspective or generational writing on recent art history.
The tendency to buoy up the value of inferior art continues as an attempt to protect the purchase price as an investment. If you’ve paid half a million dollars for a painting you will continue to invest in anything that reinforces or augments that investment.
These chains of promotion are created not by the artist or the artwork alone but by support mechanisms inspired by prestige and/or profit. They are strengthened by the enthusiasm with which they are pursued.
In recent history, it could seem that almost everything is necessary in this equation except the artwork.
To buck these trends requires a level of intelligence, perception, and confidence in personal choices that are beyond the reach of the popular crowd.
The truth is, not every painter, collector, or writer is such a storm chaser, nor wants to be.