Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, David Barbero became a noted contemporary painter after relocating permanently to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the late 1970s. He was educated at the Boston Museum School from where he graduated with honors, and then won a scholarship to the Yale School of Art. In 1964, he had his first solo exhibit in Boston at the Daedalus Gallery.
Barbero subsequently earned an M.F.A. from Tufts University and taught at several colleges in Massachusetts. He traveled extensively in Europe, and in 1975 visited both Mexico and New Mexico. From then on he painted southwestern landscapes exclusively and moved progressively toward increasing abstraction, his last picture before his untimely death at sixty one being almost totally abstract. Although his diverse body of work in totality is relatively small, a significant market opened for Barbero in New Mexico and his paintings continue to be sought after by collectors nationwide.