Arturo Pianzola's formal training in all aspects of film photography took place during the years as an assistant in the studio of Roberto Azank, who would eventually abandoned photography and moved to the US to become a successful painter.
Besides photography, Pianzola's passion has always been mathematics. In 1979 he came to Canada with a fellowship to do his PhD studies under the supervision of Robert Moody, one of this country's most distinguished mathematicians. After completing his degree and being an NSERC postdoctoral fellow, he joined the mathematics department of the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor in 1986. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and to Full Professor in 1996. From 2007 until 2020 he served as Chair of the Department.
Pianzola's distinguished scientific career allowed him to travel the world, always exploring with a keen eye the different cultures and customs in front of him. The theme of visualizing human presence is a thread that weaves through his photographic work.
As a photographer, Pianzola always maintained a low profile. The reason for this is not just because of his commitment to mathematics, but also because of his firm belief that a photograph, digital or analogue, is a print. He sees no lasting value in presenting work through social media. His commisioned printed work can be found in France, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, China, USA, Argentina (his country of birth) and Canada.
Pianzola's work has been published double-page in LFI (Leica Fotografie International), and has received an award from Camtec Photo (the only Leica Boutique in Canada). In Buenos Aires, his commissioned documentary project about a day in the life of PROHODIS (a facility for people with mental disabilities) hangs along the walls of the building. The hard-cover book “Mathematics Photography: The mathematician who wanted to see” is scheduled to appear in 2023. It offers a view, with the human element as a theme, of some of Pianzola’s work over the last five years. It will be published in Hong-Kong as part of a book series commissioned by FOLA (Fototeca Latinoamericana). An invited solo show at FOLA will take place at the time of the presentation of his book, which will take place at MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art, Buenos Aires).
Pianzola’s work has also been displayed at local juried exhibitions, including a show at the Nina Haggerty Gallery, Edmonton (2019, two pieces); “Shadows and Reflections”, ASA, Calgary Public Library (2020); and “The Artists Lens”, ASA Gallery (2021, two pieces).
In 2018 Pianzola became a member of “The Monochrome Guild”, a collective of Canadian photographers based in Edmonton who work exclusively with black and white film or alternative analogue processes as a medium. He has participated in all of the group exhibitions since then, including The Monochrome Guild Annual Exhibition 2018 (Dandi-Lines Gallery), and shows at Cafe Blackbird (2018 and 2019) and at Remedy Cafe (twice in 2019). Together with four fellow guild members, his work was part of the “Coal in Alberta” project that showed at the Crowsnest Pass Gallery (2021), the Leighton Art Centre (2022) and Red Deer Arts Council Kiwanis Gallery (TBA). His work is presently on display at four business establishments in Edmonton.