Steven Naifeh (born June 19, 1952) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer of both Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh. In addition to writing 18 books with Gregory White Smith, Naifeh is a businessman who founded several companies, including Best Lawyers that spawned an industry of professional rankings.
He is also an artist whose geometric abstractions, many large in scale, have been exhibited widely throughout the world over a period of 45 years.Jackson Pollock: An American Saga was published on December 24, 1989. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the book "Brilliant and definitive … so absorbing in its narrative drive and so exhaustively detailed that it makes everything that came before seem like trial balloons."Van Gogh: The Life, which Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times called "magisterial," was published in 2011 with a companion website hosting over 6,000 pages of notes. The book stirred global controversy by debunking the widely accepted theory that Van Gogh committed suicide and arguing instead that village bullies shot him."As a tale of ambition, hard-fought fleeting triumphs and dark despair," said SFGate, "it has the dramatic pull of a gripping nineteenth-century novel. … [The] biography enriches the eye. Its insight and vast information vault readers into the work of Van Gogh and the artists of his time. It deepens the experience of looking at art." "A tour de force," said the Los Angeles Times, a "sweepingly authoritative, astonishingly textured book."His co-author, partner, and husband, Gregory White Smith, battled a rare brain tumor for four decades, dying in 2014 at the age of 62.