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Alexandra Grant
Alexandra Annette Grant

(1973-04-04) April 4, 1973 (age 50)
  • Thomas Jefferson School
  • International School of Paris
Alma mater
Occupation Visual artist
Years active 2000–present

Alexandra Annette Grant (born April 4, 1973) is an American visual artist. She looks at words and translates them into pictures. She collaborates with other writers and artists. She is based in Los Angeles.

Early life and education

Grant was born in Fairview Park, Ohio. Her father, Norman Grant, was a Scottish geology professor and her mother, Marcia Grant, a political science professor, American foreign-service diplomat, and educational administrator based in Africa and the Middle East. Her parents, who both spent time in Africa, divorced when she was young, and she lived with her mother, who was based in Mexico City. In Mexico City, she attended a British school that had students from different nationalities. When she was 11 years old, Grant attended a boarding school, the Thomas Jefferson School, in St. Louis, Missouri, for a year. Shortly afterward, she moved with her mother to Paris, where she attended the International School of Paris. Because of these experiences in different locations in Europe and the Middle East, Grant is multi-lingual and speaks English, Spanish, and French.

In 1990, Grant graduated High School from Phillips Exeter Academy an exclusive private boarding school in Exeter, New Hampshire.

In 1995, Grant graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in history and studio art. In 2000, she graduated from San Francisco's California College of the Arts with an MFA in drawing and painting.


In 2007, Grant had her first solo exhibition (an exhibition that shows the work of only one artist) at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. Her works were shown, as well as an essay by the French writer and philosopher Hélène Cixous that inspired Grant's works.

Grant's work has been described as a "radical collaboration." She works with other writers and artists closely for a long time. Her longest collaboration was with Michael Joyce, a fiction author whose stories all connect to each other.

In 2008, she participated in Edgar Arceneaux’s Watts House Project, a non-profit group that aimed to improve houses across the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. Each household who agreed to participate in the project was assigned team consisting of an artist and an architect. The initial plan for Grant’s “Love House” was to build a large construction of her brand’s logo (LOVE) over the house. Because of problems with the IRS, construction halted and grant resigned from the project's board. She is still raising funds to complete the "Love House."

In 2013, Grant collaborated with other artists on exhibitions at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, and at Mains d’Oeuvres in Saint-Ouen, France. The "twin series" of exhibitions were based on Hélène Cixous's novel Philippines.

Grant has continued to hold exhibits based on the words of authors. She has said that R.B. Kitaj is an influence of hers.


Grant has worked as a professor. From 2009 to 2011, she was an adjunct professor at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA). In 2010, Grant taught an MFA seminar at Cal State Northridge and from 2013 to 2014 was a mentor in the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Distance MFA program. In 2015, Grant was an MFA program mentor at Syracuse University, and co-taught a course with Isabelle Lutterodt at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana.


In 2015, at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, Grant directed a documentary film called Taking Lena Home. The film was about returning a stolen tombstone to rural Nebraska.


In 2009, Grant met actor Keanu Reeves at a social event. This led to Ode to Happiness, published by Gerhard Steidl in early 2011. It was Grant's first artist book and Reeves’s first book as a writer.

In 2016, Grant and Reeves reunited for their second collaboration, Shadows, a book and suite of photographic images printed by Steidl in Germany. The photographs were exhibited at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, and Ochi Gallery in Sun Valley, ID. As part of the release of the book, Grant did a collaboration with artist Alia Raza for Issue magazine that showed fashion and shadows.

X Artists' Books

In 2017, Grant, with Keanu Reeves and designer Jessica Fleischmann, established a small publishing company called X Artists Books, sometimes abbreviated XAB.

Alexandra Grant quotes

  • "Love at every level is deeply important to my identity."
  • "I do not believe that isolation is the way. There is a period of isolation that I do as a painter, but I deeply value the experience of being in relationships."
  • "I had to figure out how the images could match the text, both in their humor and their darkness."
  • "I’d like to encourage people to cut it up — which sounds weird — but you could have this framed artwork if you wanted to." Alexandra said this about her collaboration with Keanu Reeves, Ode to Happiness.

Interesting facts about Alexandra Grant

  • Alexandra is over 6 feet tall.
  • She is the founder of the GrantLOVE project, which creates and sells original artwork to benefit artist projects and arts non-profits.
  • She sells stickers, clothing, jewelry, prints, and other items to help charities around the Los Angeles area.
  • Grant officiated a wedding for two of her friends.
  • She has been in a relationship with Keanu Reeves since 2019.

Selected awards and honors

  • 2011: California Community Foundation, Fellowship for Visual Artists, FVA fellow – Mid-Career Artist Grant
  • 2013: 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica, CA), residency
  • 2015: Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), residency
  • 2015: City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, COLA 2015, Individual Artists Fellowship
  • 2018: SOMA (Mexico City, Mexico), residency
  • 2019: Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), visiting artist

Selected exhibitions

Selected solo exhibitions

  • 2013: "Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest," 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica, CA) and Mains d'Œuvres (Saint-Ouen, France)
  • 2016: “ghost town,” 20th Bienal de Arte Paiz (Guatemala City, Guatemala) collaboration with the poet Vania Vargas on a large-scale participatory drawing project
  • 2017: "Antigone is you is me," Eastern Star Gallery, Archer School for Girls (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2019: "Born to Love," Lowell Ryan Projects (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2020: "Telepathy is One Step Further than Empathy," Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) (Costa Mesa, CA)

Selected group exhibitions

  • 2012: "Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art," Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Denver, CO)
  • 2012: "Drawing Surrealism," Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2013: "Drawn to Language" work entitled "Century of the Self," USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2014: "Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art," MSU Broad Museum at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
  • 2015: "These Carnations Defy Language" by Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden, Pasadena Museum of California Art (Pasadena, CA)
  • 2020: "Group Show: Motel," A virtual exhibition with Peralta Projects

Selected publications

  • Catalog of an exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Apr. 26 - Aug. 13, 2007
  • Exhibition at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, April 15 - June 28, 2013, and at Mains d’Œuvres, Saint-Ouen, France, August 24 - October 27, 2013

Selected works

  • 2004: "she taking her space (after Michael Joyce's "he taking the space of")," Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2007: "Wallpaper (la escalera al cielo)", Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2016: "Shadow (5)," after Keanu Reeves's “You are not here not even,” Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX)
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