Vincent Desiderio was born in Born in 1955,  He graduated from Haverford College in 1977 and later attended the Accademia di belle arti in Florence, Italy followed by four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art and has been a visiting professor at numerous universities both here and abroad, most recently with a three year appointment at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in China through the country’s “Thousand Talent Program.” 

Desiderio has received several grants and painting awards among which are the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; Two National Endowment for the Arts Grants -1987 and 1991and the Grand Prize of S.A.S. Prince Ranier III, Thirtieth Annual Show of Contemporary Art in Monte-Carlo, Monaco in 1996.  He was the first American to receive that award. In both 1984 and 1986 he was awarded a studio by the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S.1. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from both the New York Academy of Art and the Lyme Academy. In 2007 Desiderio was invited to be Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College. Desiderio was awarded a fellowship from the Chinese government through the One Thousand People Program and will be an adjunct professor at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in Tianjin, China.

His work can be found in many important public collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum of American Art, Philadelphia, PA; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; The Albright Knox Museum, NY; Museo Botero, Bogota, Columbia and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 

Numerous articles about Vincent Desiderio have appeared in periodicals and magazines including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, The Village Voice, the New York Post, The New York Sun, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquire, Le Figaro, American Art (Smithsonian Publication), Comparative Literature (University of Oregon) and others.

In 2005, D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers published a major monograph devoted to his oeuvre, Vincent Desiderio: Paintings 1975-2005, with significant texts by Mia Fineman, Donald Kuspit, Barry Schwabsky and Lawrence Weschler.

Theseus Vincent Desiderio on Art (interviewed by Daniel Maidman) was published by Griffith Moon in 2018.

In 2016 Desiderio’s painting SLEEP was used as the basis for Kanye West’s video, FAMOUS.