Some mega-celebrity girlfriends are relegated to arm candy status in the public eye, but Keanu Reeves’ partner Alexandra Grant is a superstar in her own right, making waves in the world of fine art.

Despite shocking fans after their 2019 debut, the couple has been friends for years, and support each other in their creative and philanthropic endeavors. Here are five things to know about the semi-elusive yet creatively unparalleled Grant:

1. Grant has collaborated with Reeves on multiple projects. In 2011, the two worked together on Reeves’ “picture book for grown-ups,” Ode To Happiness, which contained drawings by Grant and was published in collaboration with mutual friend Janey Bergham. In 2016, the pair co-created a book of poems called Shadows, which was written in its entirety by Reeves with illustrations by Grant. Their mutual passion for the literary arts continued in 2017 when they co-founded a publishing house, X Artists Books, which focuses on artist-centered books that transcend genre.

2. She is a celebrated artist with an MFA in painting and drawing.
Grant’s love of the arts led her to pursue an MFA from the California College of Arts in the early 2000s. In a 2018 interview, Grant spoke on her collegiate desire “to determine what themes I would want to engage when no one cared about my work (alone in the studio) or when everyone did (in the case of success).” She has since been heavily influenced by themes of Greek mythology, especially the Sophocles tragedy Antigone, and frequently creates pieces that deal with language and visual communication. Her status as a public figure in the art world was solidified when she and Reeves made their debut as a couple on the red carpet of 2019’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Film + Art Festival.

3. She’s a vocal activist for women’s representation in the arts. In an interview with the Los Angeles-based magazine Voyage LA, Grant stated that “If there is any lesson that I wished I learned earlier it’s that as a female-identified artist, sexism is real in the arts. I now know that the lack of opportunities I’ve experienced has little to do with my value and worth as an artist, but because of institutionalized and naturalized gender-based biases.” She continued by referencing when she was told not to show up to exhibitions pregnant, and when her work was said to have “less market value” because of her being a woman. Despite industry discrimination, Grant refuses to let acts of injustice define her, often referencing the idea that humans are “born to love, not to hate.”

4. She is well-traveled and speaks multiple languages. Grant’s parents, who both spent time in Africa, divorced when she was young, leading her to grow up alongside her Californian-born mother in Mexico, the U.S., France and Spain. She has picked up fluency in several languages, primarily speaking Spanish as a toddler and French as a teenager. Grant’s interest in the global vernacular was rooted in “a childhood spent crossing borders and switching languages and cultural codes, understanding how they both define and differentiate us as humans.” Her worldly lifestyle has seeped heavily into her artwork, as she asks questions like “how do the languages we speak and the images we see form how we think and exchange ideas?”

5. She is a philanthropist who regularly gives back to charity. Outside of her personal art studio, Grant heads her grantLOVE project that “produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artists and arts non-profits.” The revenue made through the project is given to community organizations in and around Los Angles, including Project Angel Food, the Union for Contemporary Art, and the Love House. Grant’s motivation for art-based activism is rooted in her belief “that arts education is a civil rights issue and that exposure to art-making and creativity can have massive impacts on communities in need and young people.”

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