Born in 1955, Vincent Desiderio grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He graduated from Haverford College and later attended the Fine Art Academy in Florence, Italy, followed by four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Desiderio has received several grants and painting awards, among which are the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the National Endowment for the Arts Painting Grant in 1987. He was the first American to receive the Grand Prize of S.A.S. Prince Ranier III, Thirtieth Annual Show of Contemporary Art in Monte-Carlo, Monaco in 1996. In 2008, Desiderio was invited to be artist in residence at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire and in 2013 he was visiting professor at Tianjin Academy in Tianjin, China.
Desiderio's work can be found in many important public collections, including: The Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum of American Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2005, D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers published a monograph devoted to his work, titled Vincent Desiderio: Paintings 1975-2005, which included texts by Mia Fineman, Donald Kuspit, Barry Schwabsky and Lawrence Weschler. The artist lives and works in Westchester County, New York.