Michael Biddle has lived in Croton on Hudson, NY most of his life. He studied art in Vienna and London after completing military service in 1958. His first interest was printmaking and he did many etchings and lithographs that show a humanistic point of view. Living in New York in the early 1960’s he did freelance magazine illustration and cartooning before turning seriously to painting and printmaking. Biddle began his teaching career in 1967 and taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology from 1972 to 2005. He was Chair of the Fine Arts Department from 2003 until his retirement in 2005. In the 1980’s Biddle experimented with computer graphics and received a New York Foundation for the Arts grant for work that he did with computers and printmaking. Around this time he made assemblage art with found objects and experimented with motorized kinetic sculpture and projected computer graphic images. Turning back to printmaking and painting in the early 1990’s, he produced a series of large monotypes with a humanistic imagery. Oil paintings done in the late ‘90’s gradually moved toward abstraction related to organic forms. The use of color was often restrained and the application of paint was sometimes thickly encrusted. His more recent work has shown a greater sense of imagery, and he has worked extensively in watercolor and silverpoint, and most recently fresco. Many of his paintings have been shown in venues in Westchester over the last several years, including Maxwell Fine Art in Peekskill, the College of New Rochelle where he received the Gallery Director’s Award, The Art Exchange in White Plains, and The Silvermine Guild of Artists where he received the Revington Arthur Award. He is married to the ceramic artist, Liz Surbeck Biddle and has two children. His son Jeremy lives in San Francisco and is a computer engineer. His daughter Megan recently lives in Philadelphia and teaches glass at Tyler School of Art.
Son of famed social realist painter George Biddle, the 1966 “Cheetah” etching belongs to an early path in the artist’s career, taking on and shifting the thematic resonance's prevalent in his father’s work to a new generation, and looking to compare such an attitude with the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s. The representation of a shifting human mass seems particularly Boschian in its recounting, simultaneously demonizing and relishing the chaotic and debaucheries collective space, which reveals itself slowly as a rock concert caught in spotlight.