"Art in America" Chats with Alumna Alexandra Grant about Her Latest Project with Keanu Reeves. (Way!)
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by Jim Norrena
(From Ken Miller's "Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves Collaborate, Happily" interview published in the March 2, 2011, edition of Art in America):
Los Angeles–based painter, sculptor, and conceptual artist Alexandra Grant (MFA 2000) has a well-established history of imaginative collaborations, whether working with artist Edgar Arceneaux, director of the Watts House Project, to erect a massive sculpture in the midst of that downtrodden neighborhood, or creating paintings and sound pieces with Pig Iron Theater company director Dan Rothenberg and poet Michael Joyce for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Her latest collaboration takes the form of a book, Ode to Happiness (Steidl), full of simple ink-on-paper illustrations accompanying poetic text from a surprising source: her friend, the actor Keanu Reeves.
Which prompted the obvious question . . .
KM: Why arrange this material as an artists' book, as opposed to a monograph of your paintings and sculptures?
AG: Artists' books play a very different role than monographs: they're not archives of past works, but works of art on their own. Artists' books have what [this book's publisher] Gerhard Steidl keeps referring to as "haptic" qualities—they engage the sense of touch as well as the eyes [and] they feel good in the hand, and this allows the reader to complete the book with their own experience of it.
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