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Christie’s : Madonna x Meisel – The SEX Photographs


30 years ago appeared: SEX, Steven Meisel‘s erotic book on Madonna.
It was madness. In France, no known or important publishing house wanted to publish the book and it was a young publisher, Michel Birnbaum who dared and made a fortune.

As part of this event, Christie’s is presenting the Madonna x Meisel – The SEX Photographs sale next October 6th in New York. This sale includes a selection of more than 40 single-print photographs, all taken from the famous book.

Since its publication in 1992, the book has been a resounding worldwide success. Personal expression of a liberated sexuality, its erotic content arouses controversy. Imagined by one of the most disruptive pop icons of all time, SEX brings together cult images by Steven Meisel and texts by Madonna, in which appears, Dita, her alter ego created for the album Erotica. This publication still holds the absolute record for sales in the “coffee-table books” category. In this field, no work had ever been sold so quickly.

In 2022, Madonna and Anthony Vaccarello, Artistic Director of Maison Saint Laurent, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the publication with a first reissue limited to 800 copies, accompanied by a unique exhibition organized on the occasion of Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Darius Himes, Vice President and International Director of Christie’s Photography Department: “In the early 1990s, the book received well-deserved hype. Steven Meisel knew how to immortalize Madonna’s sex appeal and transpose it into his photographs. He managed, like no other, to capture the sensuality and sexual freedom of the queen of pop. Thirty years after the release of the highly controversial SEX, these portraits, produced exclusively in collaboration with Steven Meisel, remain iconic from every point of view. Playful, subversive and precursory, they summarize a period in the history of late 20th century art, illustrating the process of mythification of celebrities and the cult of the image. These photographs are simply exceptional.”

Auction proceeds will be donated to Raising Malawi, a charity supporting orphans and vulnerable children in the country with essential resources.

From June 27 to July 6, Christie’s Paris presents around forty photos!
Christie’s Paris
9 Avenue Matignon
75008 Paris, France

Exhibition in New York :
30 September 30 – October 6, 2023
Christie’s New York
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

Madonna x Meisel – The SEX Photographs
6 October 02:00 PM EDT | LIVE AUCTION 22700
Christie’s New York
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

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