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Sculptor, Photographer Come Together To Create Exhibit In La Jolla

'Dimensions of Color'

When: 4-8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday

Where: 6706 Avenida Manana, La Jolla


Photo by Christopher Maue

Nassar Pirasteh's sculpture named "Phoenix."

Photo by Christopher Maue

Nassar Pirasteh's sculpture named "Eden Snake."

Two San Diego artists — one a sculptor from Iran, the other a photographer from Iowa — have come together to create a visually compelling exhibit of their work at a home in La Jolla.

Perched in the hills above Windansea Beach is a modern white house surrounded by sculptures. It's a home and an ever-changing museum created by the owner and sculpture designer, Nassar Pirasteh.

"If we are surrounded with the art, with the color, form, shape, shadows, our life gets tastier, better. I built this house for the purpose of art," Pirasteh said. "My gate is a sculpture. My rails are sculpture. So we are using them everyday. It is functional sculpture.

"That wall is 54 feet ... It's called 'Going East.' It's a divider between me and my neighbor, but I cannot believe that it just should sit there without saying something."

One person drawn in by Pirasteh's art, rather than being walled out, was photographer John Humphrey.

"I was jogging up Nautilus, saw this beautiful white house. Looked through the gate and Nasser was grinding away. I see all the sculptures. He stopped for a few seconds and I yelled at him, 'Is this your work?' He said, 'Yes, come on in.' That was the beginning," Humphrey said.

This encounter eventually led to weekly meetings where Pirasteh would advise Humphrey. The relationship blossomed into a professional collaboration with the creation of an exhibit that highlights Pirasteh's sculptures with Humphrey's photographs.

"I was interested in getting images within the sculpture itself because of the way the light, the glass, the beautiful patina plays with the sun," Humphrey said. "So I saw some things going on within the sculpture besides the beautiful totality of the sculpture and I became interested in that."

Humphrey said his relationship with Pirasteh has helped to advance his photography.

"My work evolved because I had this wonderful artist with all this experience to show my work to. What other person would I want to look at this abstract painting-like photography than Nassar, who teaches painting?" he said.

Pirasteh admires the work of his former student and current collaborator.

"To me, his photos have his own signature. You can see it's magnificent. It's just beautiful. And so far it's a year later and within this exhibit we're going to have his work here. I'm very excited," Pirasteh said.

The exhibit "Dimensions of Color" runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 6706 Avenida Manana in La Jolla.

Michael Bovee is a documentary filmmaker living in San Diego. He can be reached at


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