STEVEN VINCENT, 1956-2005
Steven Vincent, 49, art writer and reporter who had contributed to Art + Auction magazine, Art in America and the New York Times, was shot and killed after he was abducted in Basra in Iraq on July 2, 2005.
Steven Vincent was a noble, courageous soul and my close friend for over a decade. Recruited by Bruce Wolmer, longtime editor of Art + Auction magazine, Steve became a first-rate art journalist, whose command of details in investigative pieces was second to none.
But 9/11 changed everything for Steve, a longtime resident of the East Village. He was determined to go to Iraq in service to both his country and to the truth. A classic liberal activist of the old school, Steven spent three tours of journalistic duty in Iraq with no protection other than his pen. For this he gave his life.
As other commentators more eloquent than I have pointed out, his op-ed piece in the New York Times this past Sunday in which he questioned the Shi’ite control of Basra led directly to his assassination. Of Armenian descent, Steve was long attracted to the life and traditions of the Middle East, writing about Shi’ite culture for Harper’s magazine and many other publications.
His book In the Red Zone was a classic of naked on-the-ground shoe-leather journalism.
Steve’s death has brought together many of his friends in the New York art world, an intimate place in both joy and sorrow. The world has lost a unique, stubborn, confrontational, intellectually curious soul. May God grant him and his family grace.
contact wrobinson @ artnet.com