I did get a chance to talk to Wael Shawky for a while the day of open studios. He's a very pleasant, open person, with an engaging smile. With all the success he's had in the art world so far (I had not realized he was in the Venice Biennale five years ago, and he's only 36) he doesn't take any shit from anyone, but at the same time, he's quite willing to talk about his life.
We talked about Sufism. This is something I never gave a second thought to- but after he described it to me, it stuck with me a little, because he said it was related to mysticism and Kaballah. Then in Sunday's paper there was one of those Deborah Solomon interviews with Doris Lessing, and she said she practices it. Of course, this was an opportunity for Solomon to pounce on the Islam thing. Wael is very religious. He said it all "makes perfect sense." I would love to go to Egypt and see some of the things he was describing to me. Maybe this will happen. It's so wonderful having this time to experiment- I've got four different things going on and I switch around depending on what interests me that particular day. I can't let go of my hand being in the work, no matter how much it's mediated by computer imaging. I'm learning a lot about what's important to me in my work.