Event Date6 October 02:00 PM EDT | Live auction 22700

Madonna x Meisel - The SEX Photographs

Madonna x Meisel - The SEX Photographs

Sale Overview

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 6 October, 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.

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.
 —Darius Himes, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, International Head of Photographs

Tour information
Ahead of the auction a curated selection of photographs will be on view

London: 23 May – 2 June
Paris: 27 June – 6 July
New York: 30 September – 6 October

Auction times
06 Oct 02:00 PM (EDT)

Brought to you by

Darius Himes

Darius Himes

International Head of Department | Photographs

Having joined Christie’s in the Fall of 2014, Himes is responsible for setting and implementing a global strategy for the department and managing the international team. He is based in New York, and brings with him a rich knowledge of the history of the medium, with a keen interest in the contemporary market. Most recently Himes was director of Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was a co-founder of Radius Books, a non-profit publisher of books on art and photography, and a founding editor of photo-eye Booklist, a quarterly magazine devoted to photography books. A widely respected lecturer and writer on photography and photobooks, his most recent title, Publish Your Photography Book, was co-authored and published in 2011. He received his Masters of Arts from St. John's College and his Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in Photography from Arizona State University. Himes also lived in Haifa, Israel, where he oversaw and worked with a permanent collection of over 50,000 photographic objects drawn primarily from the Near and Middle East and dating as early as the 1870s.

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