I found this picture on the internet. It contains a portrait of someone I do not know. Perhaps someone’s antique. Safe bet that it is a portrait of someone who is no longer alive. I would also speculate that when he was alive he was important to someone or perhaps a company where this painting might be displayed . This is more than just a portrait. It’s a tribute.
Most of the clues I’m getting about this person are not in his portraiture. They are coming from the frame that surrounds his painted likeness. The frame is not a standard rectangular frame. Nor is it made of aluminum or appear to be store bought. Rather, this frame was apparently custom tailored, hand-carved and finished by a woods craftsman. Someone decided that this portrait deserved something extraordinary.
Like this painting, so much of the meaning we attribute to things is not in their content, but in their context. It is in the background against which the content is provided. Had it not been for this the frame, this portrait might tell an entirely different story.
Oftentimes, we don’t take notice of context. Paul Klee once said, “one eye sees, the other feels.” Context is often more sensed than seen. Yet context is often richer in meaning than content. Often non-rational, context can be very powerful,
Many in marketing have been proclaiming that “content is king.” Clearly, shared information via blogs, videos, white papers or books can do more for a brand’s identity than any other form of communication. I can’t argue about the importance of content. But I think there’s a good argument that content is not the real king. Context is.