I disagree with you so I am going to beat this horse till I am sure it's dead.
Lets take some of the art created with paint splashed on canvas. I don't think you could call that subject first. In the same way I have gone out to shoot with the intention of creating something purely abstract or graphic in which the subject is unrecognizeable either from use of viewing angle, macro close up, or high contrast or all of the above. The effect of the final image is what I have in mind and the subject is whatever happens to present itself in my wanderings that can be used to help create that print. The subect is like the paint, it is simply useable photons to put an image on film. I don't much care what the subject is, only that I can get an intriging abstract pattern.
For instance I found an old abandoned motel in the desert that had broken out windows with jagged glass shards still left in the frames and lite see through curtains billowing out. This made some interesting straight pictures but also presented me with abstract possibilities. Buy intentionally getting an angle that caught the sun in the glass shards, with the deep black interior adjacent and the curtains pushing against the glass I hoped to create an entirely abstract and unrecognizeable print of this subject. The subject is irrelevant and simply used to supply photons that will create the pattern I have in mind.
I would say the print came first in this instance. Your turn to beat this horse.