John DeFaro, a Queer self-taught American artist and designer, delves into various creative disciplines such as painting, sculpture, print, installation, performance, and community building. Alongside his artistic ventures, he is an ardent art director, gardener, activist, naturalist, and a Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs volunteer grant panelist, fostering a diverse and fulfilling career.

Early connections with esteemed artists like Larry Rivers, Jane Wilson, and Nabil Nahas in New York profoundly shaped John's artistic journey. Collaborations with creators in Eastern Long Island and the New York Metropolitan area further enriched his visual art practice, emphasizing his deep connection to nature and passion for public engagement.

Transitioning from assisting Henry Geldzahler in Southampton, NY, a prominent art advocate in NYC, John explored early American furniture design, gaining recognition from significant design companies. From 1993 to 1997, he designed original home furnishings for Lexington Home Brands under his birth name, DeCristofaro, before expanding his artistic endeavors in Water Mill, NY, creating sculptural works and nature-inspired drawings.

After moving to Miami, John studied at the Miami Ad School, interned in Amsterdam, and developed limited-edition artwork gift items for organizations like Miami Children's Hospital and Food for Life Network.

Beyond art, John advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness and environmental causes, utilizing art and activism to foster community, healing, and human connection. His dedication extends to, a domain name acquired almost 20 years ago and a future online platform promoting environmental consciousness and sustainability launching in late 2024.

John's diverse career includes roles such as Executive Assistant for Tigertail Productions, lead assistant for special projects at Art Conservators LAB, LLC, Cafe Manager and Artistic Director of Art Exhibitions for Books & Books in Coconut Grove, and head gardener for Heal the Planet's gardens at Snyder Park, Fort Lauderdale.

His artistic prowess garnered recognition through exhibits like “Spectrum: Exploring Diversity in Art” at the Westchester Regional Library in Miami in 2023, "Into the Wild" at the Miami-Dade Kendall Campus Gallery in 2015, and the Boca Raton Museum's 63rd Annual All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition in 2014. In 2012, his installation 'Trawler' at the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, FL, and his wall assemblage 'Who is Next' at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens earned critical acclaim, solidifying his status as an impactful artist.

His recent showcase, 'Green Paintings,' and performance piece 'Sew Me' with dancer/choreographer Niurca Marquez at the Feria Clandestina Art Fair during Miami Art Basel Week 2023 highlighted his evolving artistic vision and ability to engage audiences through multi-sensory experiences.


John DeFaro BIO

​​John DeFaro. Photographers: Nicole Combeau and Trevor Owens

John DeFaro