Madonna's Erotic Coffee Table Photographs Are Heading For Auction

12 May 2023 | 10:33 am | Mary Varvaris

"In the intervening 30 years since her infamous SEX book was released... what has become clear is how truly iconic those photographs remain."

(Pic by Josh Groom)

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The photographs from Madonna’s controversial and provocative coffee table book, SEX, are going up for auction this October.

Christie’s, a world-leading art and luxury business, will host viewings in London (late May/early June) and Paris (late June/early July), before the auction takes place in New York on 6 October. Interested buyers can view the photos from 30 September until auction day.

Madonna x Meisel – The SEX Photographs will highlight original photos from the 1992 book, in collaboration with photographer Steven Meisel. With over 40 of the photographs going up for auction, a portion of the proceeds will go to Madonna’s non-profit organisation, Raising Malawi.

“The much-deserved hype and white-hot energy given off by Madonna in the early 1990s was conveyed and immortalized [sic] 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,” Darius Himes, Christie's Deputy Chairman, and International Head of Photographs, said in a statement.

"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.

Himes added, “They sit at a moment in art history of the late 20th century that both summarizes [sic] 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.”

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Madonna celebrated the 30th anniversary of SEX in November with a newly refurbished 800-page edition. The 30th-anniversary book was showcased at the Art Basel show in Miami, Florida, in partnership with Yves Saint Laurent and publisher Callaway. Madonna created the art exhibition with YSL creative director Anthony Vaccarello. 

In October, Madonna marked the 30th anniversary of her provocative coffee table book, reflected on its impact and implied that Cardi B, Miley Cyrus, and Kim Kardashian should be thankful for paving the way for them via her Instagram stories.

"Thirty years ago, I published a book called S.E.X. In addition to photos of me naked, there were photos of Men kissing Men, Woman kissing Woman and Me kissing everyone. I also wrote about my sexual fantasies and shared my point of view about sexuality in an ironic way," she wrote. 

Upon its release in 1992, SEX became the fastest-selling coffee table book of all time.

Find out more about the Madonna x Meisel – The Sex Photographs auction here.