|(Level 1) Educator Emeritus
The central idea of cubism is to free the artist, and thus the viewer, from the self-censoring effect of seeing only from one perspective. So the cubists looked at the subject from all sides and then, rather than try to depict perspective, sought to combine multiple views into one representation. For example, in real life you don’t just look a person straight in the eye; you also look at their profile, even look from above or below eye-level. The cubists’ initial shocking or illogical impression comes from the mind’s “habit” of simplifying those views into a three-dimensional impression. Since the canvas is two-dimensional, and can only be viewed face front, the Cubists experimented with techniques to erase our frozen thinking, and build an impression by more sophisticated visual manipulations. Thus the (at first glance) distorted portraits of a human face, with an eye apparently askew, or a violin seemingly twisted out of shape. The mind, once trained, makes a three-dimensional (cubed) image. Your task, then, as the artist, is to depict several points of view of the subject (still-life, portrait, etc.)This process begins with opening your own vision to three-dimensional--move around them, etc.