Sorry, my sentence was malformed. What I wanted to say is, shadows can be used as symbols of pattern or texture over a subject. See these fine examples from the Converging shadows NW. Converging shadows, lets beat it to death (one more time!) and Converging shadows, lets beat it to death (one more time!) To me, shadows in these examples are like a clothing or covering through which the subject is seen. Then there are cases, like Steve's chair or my own example below, shadows transcribe the subject, taking away the texture, leaving only the form, albeit distorted. However, they look like separate entities rather than mere shadows due to the solid black in them (texture being replaced by solid black).