Amir Mark Lyles was born on May 16, 1971 in Harlem, New York. Until his mid-twenties, Amir lived Uptown, in Harlem and the Bronx. Educated in the NYC public school system, Amir attended arts focused schools for both junior and senior high. Still, he primarily credits his two elder brothers for their artistic examples. Amir refers to his eldest brother, Harlem artist, Richard Toler aka The R-tist U-no (The Artist You Know) as his most influential instructor, and considers himself otherwise self-taught. With an amazing talent for illustration, Amir is extremely versatile in media, as well as subject matter. Past and present life experience, multi-cultural history & legacy, as well as so-called classical works heavily influence Amir's style.
Amir moved to NW Philadelphia in 1996, and currently resides there with his partner/muse and their five, radically unschooled children. From 2014-2016 the family owned and operated S.O.N. A.R.T Gallery and GiftShop in the Mt. Airy section of the city. Amir has participated in numerous gallery shows and art events since debuting with a solo show at Diverse Arts Gallery in Austin, TX in 2009. Amir, being an artist's artist, has since been commissioned by authors, musicians, and even other visual artists to have his work included in their published projects. Amir has private and institutional collectors across the country and around the world. He is a full-time emerging artist, and wants to remind you that M.any A.rtists D.on't M.ake A. N.ickel, so please remember to regularly support an independent artist in your community.