Keanu Reeves' new publishing adventure

The actor is one of three publishers of the new independent L.A. press X Artists' Books.
Keanu Reeves is a publisher for the new press X Artists' Books. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Actor and writer Keanu Reeves has taken on a new role as a publisher with X Artists' Books in Los Angeles. The indie press focuses on interdisciplinary artists' books and collaborations.

Reeves joins artist Alexandra Grant, designer Jessica Fleischmann and editor Florence Grant. The press launched earlier this month and, according to Alexandra Grant, it was an easy sell to the Canadian actor. When she approached Reeves about the idea of starting a publishing company she says it immediately became a "we."

"It was directly inspired by our long-term collaboration and love of both reading and making books," Grant said.

Last year Reeves co-authored Shadows with Grant. The art book features Grant's photographs depicting Reeves' shadow and his poems.

The actor's role is in the company is not clearly defined, but that is the case for all of the founders.

"We don't have job titles so that our process remains as collaborative, connective, creative and as focused on making books as possible," said Grant.

Spread from High Winds. (Jessica Fleischmann/Sylvan Oswald/X Artists’ Books)

The group is focused on making artists' books which Grant defines as "unusual, interdisciplinary, creative, collaborative books that fall under no clear rubric other than that they are the blueprint for an imaginary world."

X Artists' Books is set to release four titles this year including The Words of Others (Palabras ajenas), the first full English translation of Argentine artist León Ferrari's highly acclaimed work and High Winds by playwright Sylvan Oswald.

"High Winds is written by a playwright, made into a visual world by a graphic designer (Jessica Fleischmann) and one that I dream will become an opera," said Grant.

While the group doesn't have a target number of books they'd like to publish annually, they have quickly discovered that there is no shortage of offerings. They are looking at projects that were started before they were founded and according to Grant, "It seems that everyone has a secret artists' book!"

Of his new adventure in publishing, Reeves told the L.A. Times, "Why we're doing it and what it's for, the pleasure of reading and thinking and imagining, and to go on a journey."


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