Michael Cassidy's Bio

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Michael Cassidy is the product of a 20th Century social anomaly, centered largely in the Southern  California area in the 1960's, which came to be known as the Surf Generation. Surfing became more than just a sport, it was a way of life that produced its own unique perspective. And for the young Cassidy, the lure of the sea became the basis on which he has literally invented his own life. 

Cassidy was born-and has spent most of his life-in a small town just north of San Diego, California. He still surfs daily, but he has also gone on to discover and explore extreme parts of the world about which most of us will only wonder-Tahititi, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, to name a few-and, in his words, "shot thousands of photos, surfed, sailed, canoed and made lots of friends." From those travels, he has assembled a world view that is-like his artwork-very straightforward. Comparisons are easy to make-Maynard Dixon, N.C. Wyeth, Ernest Blumenshein, Leyendecker, Holwein, A. M. Cassandre, John Singer Sargent. But comparisons are purely theoretical. What matters is that a Cassidy picture is wonderful to behold, and it never fails to transport the viewer to another place, another time-as a true work of art should. 

Atypical to what one might expect of him-given his beginnings as a self-professed surf and gym rat (he
admits a basic mistrust of anyone who is not enthusiastic about sports), over the years Cassidy has developed a work ethic that has resulted in his being one of the most sought-after illustrators working today. An extremely religious man, he attributes all of his talent and achievements to his creator-yet is also quick to admit he has worked at it. 

His education was hard-earned, spending three years in the commercial art/fine art program at Palomar College in Sourthern California, and two years in the Illustration Program at California State University at Long Beach. He returned to Palomar for two more years taking life drawing and painting classes-over and over again. "...Fundamentals. Fundamentals! .. " as Cassidy puts it. He spent the next several years in various art-related assignments-commercial illustration, advertising design, poster design, photography and magazine work-but, not unlike one of his own idols, Maynard Dixon, it is a stint working in a humble sign shop to which Cassidy attributes much of his style.

Over the years, Cassidy's credentials have mounted to reflect a fairly impressive list of clients, about which he is characteristically offhand-the PGA; Sports Illustrated; book covers for Harcourt -Brace-Jovanivich, Henry Hout and McGraw/Hill; Golf Magazine; the Chicago Tribune; Patagonia, Inc.; Adolf Coors; Seagrams; The Discovery Channel; and many more. Although a major museum/gallery exhibition is planned for his work this coming Spring (1996) in Hawaii, he has produced little work specifically for the art gallery community-until now. 

Mike Cassidy has enjoyed quite a bit of success-on his own terms. He has been content to raise his family, travel, play sports and create art-his priority list being pretty much in that order. The result is a
level of affluence not measured by monetary guidelines. What matters most to Cassidy is liberty and individualism. The freedom to do what he wants, when he wants. He has achieved that. "There are still places out there where you don't have to wear a seat belt or have an insurance policy to leave the
house. How exciting can life be when you take the risk out of it?" Cassidy says.

Michael Cassidy, Hot Day at the Green Monster



Michael Cassidy, Sliding the Silver Surf



Michael Cassidy, Apache



Michael Cassidy, Live to Surf



Michael Cassidy, Tahiti Hula


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