Comic Genius: Watch Basquiat Take the Piss Out of an Interviewer

January 3, 2012

Words by Jesse Serwer, via Dangerous Mindsโ€”

If you’re really up on Basquiat, you know that a big part of the Haitian/Puerto Rican-American artist’s genius was his truly wicked sense of humor. In this cringe-inducing 1983 interview filmed at Basquiat’s Manhattan studio (“At 3 PM, shortly after Jean-Michel woke for the day”), the artist makes the faintest effort to indulge blowhard art history professor Dr. Mark H. Miller’s yawn-worthy questions. As Basquiat toys with him, Miller takes on a grating stammer that only makes the interaction more awkwardโ€”and, unfortunately for his sake, very entertaining to watch, 28 years later. Portions of this footage appeared in Tamra Davis’ Basquiat documentary The Radiant Child in 2010, but if you have the time to invest 33 minutes into one of this beauty of a trainwreck, the full conversation is now up on Youtube in its entirety.