Madonna’s Sex Book Photos With Steven Meisel Are Heading To Auction (For Charity)

Photo from Madonna's 1992 book "SEX."

Madonna knows how to cause a commotion. Her 1992 book SEX was banned in several countries (even the Vatican issued a statement) due to its sexually explicit nature. Despite efforts to quell the project’s contents—which featured photography from Steven Meisel and appearances from Naomi Campbell and Vanilla Ice—it became one of the most sought-after publications of all time.

Now prints from the oh-so-controversial contents of SEX are set to be auctioned this Fall at Christie’s. “Madonna x Meisel — The SEX Photographs” will highlight nearly fifty photographs from the book with proceeds benefitting the singer’s non-profit Raising Malawi.

Released in tandem with Erotica, her fifth studio album, SEX saw Madonna tap into the persona of “Mistress Dita” and pose in burlesque clubs, hotels, and gritty city streets. While the singer faced extensive backlash at the time, three decades later, it is amongst the best-selling coffee-table books in history.

Last year, Madonna joined forces with Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello for the first ever re-edition of SEX in honor of its 30-year anniversary. The 800 limited-edition copies were unveiled during a gallery show at Miami Art Basel.

“Madonna x Meisel — The SEX Photographs” will encompass three worldwide gallery displays (in London, Paris, and New York) and an auction of prints—curated by Madonna, Meisel, and Vaccarello—slated for October in the Big Apple. Hopefully, there’s less pearl clutching this time around.

“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,” Darius Himes, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, International Head of Photographs said in a statement. “He knew how to capture the allure and sexuality of pop’s reigning queen in a way that was unrivaled.”

Madonna, Glenn O'Brien, and Steven Meisel at the 1992 SEX release party in New York.

Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images