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Keanu Reeves Is Doing a New Thing: Publishing Books

Keanu Reeves Is Doing a New Thing: Publishing Books! The actor and his business partner, the visual artist Alexandra Grant, have created X Artists’ Books, an imprint full of esoteric titles.

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Not long after Grant and Reeves met at a dinner party in 2009, they began collaborating on their first book, for which the 45-year-old Grant — who makes text-based paintings about linguistic connections — created washed-ink drawings inspired by a winkingly morose poem that Reeves, 53, had written. The result, “Ode to Happiness,” released by the renowned German publisher Steidl, was an archly sullen self-care guide in the Sendakian mode, with a regimen that included “I hate myself face cream” and “alone again silk pajamas.”

A few years later, they reunited with Steidl for “Shadows,” which paired Grant’s chromatic images of Reeves’s own silhouette with his gnomic meditation on loss, impermanence and acceptance. (It’s lighter than it sounds.)

Hollywood is lousy with actors’ vanity projects and left-field dalliances — burger joints and artisanal tequilas and cultish lifestyle companies that may or may not be pyramid schemes. But Reeves’s extracurriculars feel more in sync with his persona: They’re rooted in artless sincerity, whether he’s playing bass and supplying backing vocals for the mid-90s alt-rock band Dogstar or cofounding a California motorcycle manufacturer called Arch.

Instead of feeling like a departure from acting, these projects — along with bookmaking — express a genuine interest in not just creating objects but in the process of creation itself. “Not that we’re reinventing anything,” Reeves says. “But the idea of a quality book is definitely our ambition.”

This article is written by Max Lakin for The New York Times Style Magazine , and you can read the whole article right here.


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