When beloved actor and all-round Hollywood nice guy Keanu Reeves stepped out with a new woman yesterday, the world was instantly intrigued.

Their public display of affection seemingly confirmed his first romance in decades, with the notoriously private Matrix star having successfully dodged romance whispers throughout his prolific career.

Though unconfirmed by the pair, as they gazed adoringly at each other and held hands along the red carpet, it seemed clear 55-year-old Reeves was a single man no more.

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So who exactly is Alexandra Grant, the statuesque silver-haired woman Reeves stepped out with this week?

As it transpires, they've been business partners for years.

Grant, 46, is a well-known visual artist in LA, known for intertwining her work with the written word through various media including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, and photography, according to her website.

Reeves, outside of his acting career, has penned two volumes of poetry illustrated by Grant – the first – Ode To Happiness, released in 2011, and the second, Shadows, in 2016.

Clearly fans of each other's work, one year later in 2017, the duo co-founded X Artists' Books, an art-book publishing house that aims to produce "thoughtful, high-quality, artist-centred books that fit within and between genres."

While Grant is LA-based, she spent chunks of her childhood living abroad, in Mexico, France, and Spain – experiences she says fuelled her love for words and languages.

The artist has exhibited her work at a variety of galleries and institutions worldwide, from Los Angeles, to New York, Baltimore and Paris.

As listed on her website, she has won several awards for her work, including a grant from the Pollock-Krasner foundation, and the COLA individual artist fellowship.

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In 2008, Grant founded a charity that funds arts-based non-profits, called the grantLove project, described as "an artist-owned and operated project that produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artist projects and arts non-profits".

She's also a wedding celebrant, her Instagram suggest.

Grant posted a photo of her officiating a wedding in Brooklyn earlier this year, and a photo of her clergy badge that same month.

While yesterday's outing with Reeves certainly caused a stir, it isn't the first time Grant has been spotted with the actor.

The two attended Art Basel together in 2016, followed by the launch of X Artists' Books in 2017, and a benefit for the MOCA in May.

In July, they held hands at the Saint Laurent men's fashion show in Malibu, and were spotted eating dinner together at a Santa Monica restaurant in October.

Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves at the Saint Laurent Mens Spring Summer 20 Show. Photo / Getty Images
Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves at the Saint Laurent Mens Spring Summer 20 Show. Photo / Getty Images

Despite the building speculation surrounding their rumoured romance, neither Grant nor Reeves have spoken publicly about the nature of their relationship.

Reeves' last known long-term relationship was in the late '90s with actress Jennifer Syme, but their love ended in tragedy with the then 28-year-old driving her Jeep into a row of parked cars in Los Angeles in 2001.

Two years prior, Syme had given birth to a stillborn daughter, Ava, at eight months.

In a 2006 interview with Parade magazine, Reeves said of Syme's passing: "Grief changes shape, but it never ends. People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, 'It's gone, and I'm better'. They're wrong. When the people you love are gone, you're alone."