Christie’s is pleased to announce its participation in the ongoing anniversary celebration initiated by Madonna and Saint Laurent’s re-issue of ‘SEX’ the boundary pushing 1992 photography book by Madonna and Steven Meisel. As part of the project Christie’s will present Madonna x Meisel – The SEX Photographs an auction of over 40 works, as editions of one, in a live sale taking place in New York on October 6, 2023. 

Upon its release in 1992, Madonna’s book became a controversial, cultural sensation around the globe, due to its erotic content and liberated views of sexual self-expression. Envisioned by one of the most influential musicians of all time, ‘SEX’ contained iconic imagery by Steven Meisel as well as written text by Madonna where she introduced her persona, Dita. The book remains the best and fastest selling coffee table book of all time. In 2022, Madonna and Saint Laurent’s Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello marked the 30th anniversary with a first time ever re-edition of the notorious book with 800 limited edition copies and a first-time gallery exhibition at Miami’s Art Basel. 

Darius Himes, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, International Head of Photographs comments: “The much-deserved hype and white-hot energy given off by Madonna in the early 1990s was conveyed and immortalized through Steven Meisel’s photographs. He knew how to capture the allure and sexuality of pop’s reigning queen in a way that was unrivalled. In the intervening 30 years since her infamous SEX book was released–shot exclusively in collaboration with Meisel –what has become clear is how truly iconic those photographs remain. They sit at a moment in art history of the late 20th century that both summarizes a moment, playful and prescient, and hints at the future of public stardom driven by image- conscious figures. These images are nothing short of brilliant.” 

Ahead of the auction a curated selection of photographs will be traveling to London (May 23 – June 2), Paris (June 27 – July 6) and New York (September 30 – October 6). A portion of the proceeds for the sale will benefit Raising Malawi, in support Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children with critical resources.