Desiderio received a BA in fine art and art history from Haverford College. He subsequently studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely in solo exhibitions at the Marlborough Gallery and Greenville Museum of Art, and group shows at MoMA P.S. 1, the New Museum, the Queens Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum and the Kemper Museum (Kansas City). 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 Pierre Foundation of the Principality of Monaco. His works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse), Galerie Sammlung Ludwig (Germany), the Greenville County Museum of Art (South Carolina) and the Indiana University Museum of Art. He is represented by Marlborough Gallery.