When I started playing D&D back in my mid teens and the early 1980s I did not particularly like the artwork of Erol Otus. I think at the time I preferred more realistic artwork.
When I got back into playing D&D regularly with 3.5E, I also started looking back at the older versions of D&D, and found that I now really liked Erol Otus's artwork. I think it is the fever dream aspect of it that I like.
So, my enjoyment of Otus's work has nothing to do with nostalgia.