When people post pictures of things, I’m often more interested in what’s in the background. If a person is posed in a room, I’m looking at what else is in the room. What is the context behind the subject?
I’m not sure where that comes from, except that I try to notice things that go unnoticed, or aren’t in focus, or are deemed uninteresting. Sometimes I see things that are interesting, many times, not, but I always find myself looking around the subject of a picture.
Especially in paintings. In a painting, everything that’s there was put there on purpose, which automatically makes it interesting to me. Sometimes there are messages hidden in those things, symbols, statements, meant to go unnoticed. That’s what’s great about art – you don’t have to be obvious to be subversive.
In photographs, the things in the background aren’t always there intentionally – we tend to focus on the subject, and ignore the background. But what is unintentionally captured is interesting in that it was not a focus but can sometimes be revealing by accident…like little whispered confessions.