It was a radical shift for the commerce and art graduate, Amit Ambalal, born into a Gujarati business family, to gradually give up the family business in order to pursue painting, for which he had a passion. He had studied under the guidance of a private teacher to understand the basics of art.
Ambalal became a full-time painter only at the age of thirty-six, in 1979. Since then, there has been no turning back. He created art which is an amalgamation of many strong influences derived from his personal experiences of life. Working with a sense of ‘play’ to personify characters of the everyday, Ambalal devises a visual language that is rich with unusual details, unexpected scale and emotions. Ambalal’s art is blended with humour and irony in a manner that teases the subjects as well as the viewers with its mocking variants. The naivety of his characters and the fairy-tale depiction of the ‘everyday theatricality’, as observed in domestic spaces, streets or in parks, portray an unmatched style of painting.
A founder member and secretary of the Contemporary Painters Group in Ahmedabad, Ambalal, from the late-Seventies onward, has been a member of various educational and cultural institutions – Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, National Institute of Fashion Technology in Gandhinagar, and National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, just to mention some of them. The artist has been actively involved in organising artists’ camps. A documentary on Ambalal, Chitrakar Amit Ambalal, was released by Doordarshan in Ahmedabad in 1991. He lives and works in Ahmedabad.