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PEN Presents: X Artists’ Books

This event included a stage reading and conversation with X Artists’ Books co-founders Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves, and playwright and artist Sylvan Oswald, and was moderated by Jon Robin Baitz. The event was followed by a book signing and reception. 

X Artists’ Books is a small publisher of artist-centered books that create nontraditional entry points into narratives. Grant and Reeves read from Grant’s The Artists’ Prison with drawings by artist and poet Eve Wood. Oswald read from his adults’ picture book High Winds with images by Jessica Fleischmann.

Event photographs available here

Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses language, literature, and exchanges with writers as the basis for her work in painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. She is both the author of The Artists’ Prison and a co-founder, with Keanu Reeves, of X Artists’ Books.

Sylvan Oswald is an interdisciplinary trans artist who creates plays, texts, publications, and video. His work explores the ways we forge our individual and national identities through sexuality, gender, and humor. His work High Winds was published by X Artists’ Books in 2017.

Keanu Reeves is a celebrated actor and writer whose many films include My Own Private Idaho (1991), Speed (1994), The Matrix (1999) and John Wick 2 (2017). He has published two artists’ books with Alexandra Grant: Ode to Happiness and Shadows and is the co-founder of X Artists’ Books.

LA native Jon Robin Baitz is a Guggenheim and NEA fellow, an American Academy of Arts and Letters fellow, and a founding member of the Naked Angels theater company. His plays Other Desert Cities and A Fair Country were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He created the TV show Brothers & Sisters, and most recently wrote and produced the miniseries The Slap for NBC. 

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