Keanu Reeves and his partner Alexandra Grant to advise a metaverse-themed art charity

The Matrix superstar and his partner Alexandra Grant will work with a charity for underrepresented artists, which is spearheaded by an NFT company. But is Reeves pro-NFT? Spoiler alert: unlikely.

Keanu Reeves extending an open hand in a halting gesture to reporters at an event in 2013.
Keanu Reeves. Photo by Anna Hanks from Austin, Texas, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Neo was flying away into the sunset in the last Matrix movie, everyone wondered what he’d be up to.

And no, we still don’t know. But we do know that Keanu Reeves, the franchise’s superstar, and his partner, the Los Angeles-based visual artist Alexandra Grant, are set to become advisors to the Futureverse Foundation.

The charity was conceived by Non-Fungible Labs, a New Zealand-based NFT company responsible for Fluf World, an ecosystem of NFT collectibles. Apart from sparking controversy about Reeves's stance on NFTs, the Futureverse Foundation will “support underrepresented artists and exhibit their work on digital and physical platforms,” both in the real world and the metaverse.

If the contrast between the latter two coupled with Keanu Reeves reminds you of the matrix, then let us assure you we're in the same boat.

So Keanu Reeves is into NFTs now?

It’s difficult to say.

Reeves and Grant will advise the Futureverse Foundation as it distributes grants and helps artists get access to global platforms, and that’s all we know. But the charity’s parallel goal, which is to “help keep the metaverse widely accessible, healthy, and evolving,” has sparked the outrage from NFT skeptics on Twitter and beyond, but Reeves appears steadfast.

"I am honored to be joining Non-Fungible Labs' efforts in cooperation with Alexandra Grant for the extraordinary program and opportunity of the Futureverse Foundation, in support of artists and creators globally," he said in a press release.

Note that he said ‘Non-Fungible Labs’, which, after all, is the primary donor’s name, and not non-fungible tokens. It’s unclear if Reeves owns any NFTs himself. It’s likely he doesn’t, though, because as recently as last year, after The Matrix Resurrections premiered, he said in an interview with The Verge NFTs were “easily reproduced,” then burst out chortling. Then again, Reeves did admit he received an unspecified amount and type of crypto from a friend.

We’ll see.

First €100,000 already ticked off

While details of the selection process are yet to be provided, the foundation is expected to target underrepresented artists and creators. Earlier, Non-Fungible Labs donated money to initiatives supporting homeless people and victims of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“Dreaming up a new model for arts philanthropy with the Non-Fungible Labs team that can have a lasting impact in both the digital and real realms has been one of the most exciting projects I've worked on, that has already had real impact," said Alexandra Grant.

Grant may have been referring to a €100,000 donation made by Non-Fungible Labs to help Nana Oforiatta Ayim, head of the ANO Institute of Arts & Knowledge in Accra and director of Ghana’s Museums and Cultural Heritage, curate the Black Star – The Museum as Freedom exhibition.

Based on the concept of a mobile museum, Black Star is on display in the Ghanaian Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennale 2022 until late September. The space, designed by architect DK Osseo Asare, features works by Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope and Diego Araúja.