Solomon studied at the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting, Maine (1975) and continued his studies at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut (1978). Later that year he lived in New York and studied with artists Ray Parker and David Budd. In 1979, Solomon earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1980 - 1984 he was assistant to John Chamberlain. In 1989, Solomon earned his Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College and in 1990 he served as studio assistant to Alfonso Ossorio.
In 2011, Alice Aycock chose Solomon for the acclaimed biennial exhibition “Artists Choose Artists” at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York. His first solo exhibition was held in 1979 at the College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by one person shows at the Queens Museum of Art, New York (1988), Hunter College, New York (1989), and the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York (1999). In 2001, Solomon participated as an artist and advisor in “Surfs Up,” the first show of its kind on surfing culture in New York curated by the late John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton. Other artists in the show were Richard Prince, Julian Schnabel, Ashley Bickerton, and Michael Halsband. Solomon has also been included in exhibitions curated by Matthew McLendon, Mark Ormond, Noah Becker, Blair Voltz Clark, Rob Edleman, Mary Heilmann, and Geoffrey Young.
Solomon has participated in group exhibitions at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York; Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York; Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee; Selby Gallery at the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida; and the Telfair Art Museum, Savannah, Georgia.
Mike Solomon is included in numerous esteemed private collections including those of Edward Albee, Beth Rudin deWoody, Dan Flavin, Jr., Tom and Darlene Furst, Richard Meier, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Prince, and Priscilla Rattazzi Whittle. Selected public collections include Barnett Bank, Tampa, Florida; Cantor Fitzgerald Collection, New York, New York; Columbia Museum, Columbia, South Carolina; Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY; J. Crew, New York, New York; Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York; and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.
Solomon has twice been the recipient of the Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant in 2001 and 2012. He currently has studios on the North Fork of Long Island and in Sarasota, Florida.
Solomon's assemblage process involves both chance and artistic deliberation. The horizontal bands of color are placed at intervals on multiple sheets of frosted polyester film. The various sheets are then assembled in layers. This gives the work the characteristic qualities of translucence and diffusion that Solomon has explored throughout his career. The work displayed in "Native Shore" also has a remarkable prismatic quality as Solomon separates light into its constituent spectral colors and then reforms and recombines it. The process gathers formal visual relationships and autobiographical referents, which together form these elegant works of art.
Solomon's recent work has been collected by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota and by Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York.