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Ode to Happiness

I draw a hot sorrow bath

In my despair room
with a misery candle burning
I wash my hair with regret shampoo
after cleaning myself with pain soap
I dry myself with my gorgeous white
One hundred percent and it will never change towel
Then smooth on my I dont deserve lotion
and I hate myself face cream
Then I put on my alone again silk pajamas
and go to sleep
when the hue has gone blue
and you cant quite grin and bear it
let this word picture remind you
It can always be worse

From the Steidl press release:

Ode to Happiness is a grown-ups picture book. Featuring artwork by artist Alexandra
Grant and text by actor Keanu Reeves, this thoughtfully crafted artists book serves as a
meditation on making the best of a bad situation. In the tradition of a classic hurtin
song, the text externalizes what is typically an internal monologue, a spontaneous,
melancholy incantation of near-hopelessnessand in so doing, subtly pokes fun at it. The
imagesbeautifully realized in somber inky washes of black on whitereflect the dark
and light, the pathos and humor of the text. Neither entirely earnest nor wholly ironic, the
book is ultimately completed by the reader, who brings his or her own experience to its
Ode to Happiness is a testament to collaboration. Arising from the authors friendship
and facilitated behind-the-scenes by Janey Bergam, the book was created through a
process of exchange, as a gift each collaborator gave the other. Completing the
collaboration was Gerhard Steidl, the legendary German printer and publisher who
precisely translated the original artwork into book form and brought elegance and
simplicity to its binding and packaging.
Intended as a reminder to take oneself only so seriously, Ode to Happiness is both a
meditation and a gentle tease about how we cope with lifes sorrows.
Alexandra Grant
Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses language and networks of words
as the basis for her work in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Grant has explored ideas of
translation, identity, and dis/location, not only in drawings, painting, and sculpture, but
also in collaboration with writers such as hypertext author Michael Joyce and the
philosopher Hlne Cixous. Grant recently had her second solo show with Honor Fraser
Gallery in September 2010 and currently has work on view at the California Biennial,
Orange County Museum of Art, and Artists Museum at the Los Angeles Museum of
Contemporary Art.
Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves has worked in show business since 1983, appearing in a range of films that
span several genres, including comedies (Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure, 1989, I
Love You To Death, 1990), action films (Point Break, 1991, Speed, 1994), and romances
(A Walk In The Clouds, 1995, Sweet November, 2001, and The Lake House, 2006). He
has worked in both independent (Rivers Edge, 1986, My Own Private Idaho, 1991, A
Scanner Darkly, 2006, and The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, 2009) and studio films, both
in supporting (Bram Stokers Dracula, 1992, Little Buddha, 1993, and Somethings Gotta
Give, 2003) and leading roles (The Devils Advocate, 1997, The Matrix Trilogy,
1999/2003, Constantine, 2005, and The Day The Earth Stood Still, 2008). His first
feature, Henrys Crimestarring Reeves, James Caan, and Vera Farmiga and produced
by his production company, Company Filmswill be released in the Unites States, April

8, 2011. In 2010, in cooperation with VMCF Paris and IPG/SPU, Reeves produced
Autour/Around, by Benoit Fougeirol and Michael Batalla. Ode To Happiness is Reevess
first published work as a writer.

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