Author: Joseph

My Personal Shadow Box

Joseph Thornton

My Shadow Box Artist Statement


My Shadow box is separated by two main things. The outside of my shadow box represent dominant narratives and stereotypes about my identities and the inside represents my counter narrative and parts of me that make me who I am.

On the outside in the back of box I include pictures of a danger sign, a gun, and marijuana. These pictures show the dominant narratives of black people that we all smoke weed and we are violent and dangerous. The right outside of my box I include a picture of a bunch of different sports equipment such as a football, soccer ball, and basketball. I include this to show the stereotype that since I’m a teenage boy I should like playing sports since that’s something that teenage boys commonly like to do. And finally, on the left side of my box, I include a picture of a man lifting weights and a stereotypical picture of the male brain. The image of the man lifting weights  is important because it represent the belief that people of the male sex should be big and strong. I included the picture of the male brain because it perfectly represents what people assume males think about and things we have in our head. So in all, the outside of my box represents the dominant narratives of my race and my sex.

Now moving on to the inside of my box. This part of my box represents my chosen identities and my true self. There are also things that show my counter narrative for some of my identities. To combat the dominant narratives that all black people are violent and dangerous I include pictures of me and my family to show that black people are just as loving and caring as any other race. Furthermore, I combat the belief that teenage males are all interested in sports by having pictures of my actual interests such as music, anime, and comic books. I’ve honestly never really been interested in or realy liked sports. Even though my parents and most people would tell me I should play football or basketball and trying to push me to pursue that. I prefer stereotypical “nerdy” interests, I guess you would call it. And I’m not afraid to admit that because it’s what I’m actually interested in and what I like. Finally, I combat the dominant narrative of males just being big and strong by including quotes that question and challenge male stereotypes. I included this because I read these questions and felt that they were all questions I thought about at one point in my life as a male. So I wanted to include that because of that strong reaction I had to them.

All together, my shadow box includes dominant narratives and stereotypes I believe are forced onto me because of my assigned identities along with my counter narratives and my chosen identities showing how I see myself and how I wish to be seen.