Pop Culture
Feb 06, 2015, 09:47AM

They Can Be Gentrified

A 2004 Believer interview with author Mike Davis vs. a 2000 Art in America interview with artist Cy Twombly.

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Cy Twombly: The line is the feeling, from a soft thing, a dreamy thing, to something hard, something arid, something lonely, something ending, something beginning.

Mike Davis: Ships disappear there often.

Twombly: It’s totally blank.

Davis: Sure. It’s terrible out there.

Twombly: It goes beyond. I don’t know how to handle it.

Davis: You have to struggle for its context, its interpretation—against the forces who’d like to pin it to the wall and call it a pretty picture. It changes lives.

Twombly: Have you ever seen it? I never have.


Davis: There was a period—and I told this story to my friends, who thought I was taking drugs or something—but there was a period when, every day during my run, a coyote would come and lope alongside of me.

Twombly: Well, you know, trance and ecstasy are slightly different.

Davis: Right. They can be gentrified.


Twombly: Before, I used to smoke and look, because smoking is very conducive to stimulating the mind.

Davis: There was a ruthless honesty then.


Twombly: The expanse is so beautiful, and then the river goes off in the distance like the music; there's a vast bucolic space to it, on and on.

Davis: All the captive intellectuals and artists say they want to destroy the museums.

Twombly: Do you think so?

Davis: Yeah. 


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