1. A book/play/album/movie/web series/whatever created by an artist from a tiny country no one’s ever heard of, in a language almost no one speaks, and the artwork is almost completely unavailable in any format. This assures the listmaker that only he or she truly appreciates this work.
2. A late-career work by a grouchy avant-grade artist; this work must invoke “the terrible power of silence and the triumph of sublime incoherence.”
3. A pop bestselling work, to prove that the listmaker has a savvy connoisseur’s grasp of mass-market art/crap.
4. A fragmented, angry debut work by an earnest young artist with an invented name, a name which distances that artist from his or her rich parents.
5. A work by someone of a race different from that of the listmaker, to show not that the listmaker is a dreary liberal, but that if the listmaker ever met the artist, they’d nod at each other in mutual respect.
6. A just-reissued work by a long-neglected artist, preferably dead.
7. A hybrid, unclassifiable work involving, say, dance, tweets, stencils and 58 boxes of Lucky Charms.
8. Something which the listmaker declares screamingly, savagely, blisteringly funny, which it most likely isn’t.
9. Something created by a famous person whom the listmaker desperately wants to have sex with, or hang out with, or be.
10. The latest installment of a multi-part series which the listmaker first discovered as a child, and considers “a necessary chapter in my own story.”