Michael Mulcahy grew up in Southern California and the rural Midwest. After receiving a a degree in Literature and Drama at Occidental College, he lived in Ireland and the San Francisco Bay Area. His work was shown at Oakland Open Studios, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and with the Emeryville Artists’ Association.

He currently lives in Chico, California, where he is a member of the Chico Visual Arts Alliance. He exhibits at Avenue 9 Gallery, the 1078 Gallery, and other local venues. Recently, Michael had a large show in Sacramento at the KOH Library & Cultural Center.

His work is held in private collections nationwide.


Michael's earliest influences ranged from the drawings of Albrecht Dürer and Heinrich Kley to the cartoons of Walt Disney and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Spending time at the Chicago Art Institute, he discovered post-Expressionists such as the Blue Riders and the Fauves. At the time, he was particularly taken withy Georges Rouault, Kees van Dongen, and, surprisingly, the abstractionist Ad Reinhardt. He is inspired by painters who balance line with quirky color, like Waynr Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Hopper, and Fritz Scholder. Fusing these influences with the whimsy of Pop Art and San Francisco Funk, Mulcahy developed his unique style and technique. 

“I vividly remember a day when I was a kid visiting the Chicago Art Institute. I spent several hours going back and forth between Seurat’s Sunday on the Grande Jatte and Ad Reinhardt’s Black Painting. This is when I really understood what painting could be."