Vincent Desiderio

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Without Words, 1989 painting by Vincent Desiderio

Vincent Desiderio (born 1955) is an American realist painter.[1] He is currently a senior critic at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the New York Academy of Art. He lives and works in Sleepy Hollow, New York.[2]


Desiderio was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1955. Desiderio received a BA in fine art and art history from Haverford College in 1977. He subsequently studied for one year at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy (1977–78), and for four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between 1979 and 1983. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely, most recently in solo exhibitions at the Marlborough Gallery in New York.[3]

He is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, the Everson Museum of Art Purchase Prize, a Rome Grant from the Creative Artists Network and a Cresson Traveling Scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1996, he became the first American artist to receive the International Contemporary Art Prize awarded by the Prince Ranier Foundation of the Principality of Monaco.

His works are included in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,[4] Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Denver Art Museum, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, Galerie Sammlung Ludwig in Aachen, Germany, the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina and the Indiana University Museum of Art in Bloomington, Indiana.

Desiderio’s painting Sleep was the inspiration for Kanye West’s video "Famous".[5] The video premiered at The Forum in Los Angeles as well as via live stream through Tidal on June 24, 2016.


  1. ^ Larson, Kay (5 October 1987). "Shrinking History". New York Magazine. 
  2. ^ Art in America, February 2005
  3. ^ Art in America, February 2005
  4. ^ "2005 National Medal of Arts". NEA. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Coscarelli, Joe. “The Artist Providing the Canvas for Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ Video.” The New York Times. June 29, 2016

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