SAINT LAURENT MADONNA X MEISEL – THE SEX PHOTOGRAPHS
Tour locations and dates: Christie’s London Christie’s Paris Christie’s New York May 23–June 2 June 27–July 6 September 30–October 6
Steven Meisel (b. 1954), Madonna, New York, 1992, archival pigment print Estimate
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) and Paris (June 27 – July 6). A portion of the proceeds for the sale will benefit Raising Malawi, in support Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children with critical resources.
ABOUT SAINT LAURENT Founded in 1961, Yves Saint Laurent is one of the most prominent fashion houses of the 20th century. Originally a House of Haute Couture, Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized the way fashion and society merge and interact. Since its inception, Yves Saint Laurent has held influence both inside and outside the fashion industry, embracing different forms of art. Over the years, its founder, the couturier Yves Saint Laurent secured a reputation as one of the 20th century’s foremost designers and personalities. Under the creative vision of Anthony Vaccarello and the leadership of Francesca Bellettini, the brand has built solid foundations for its development and is pursuing its evolution to continue enhancing its influence. Saint Laurent’s status as a leading fashion House is fully established and recognized by a very distinctive identity and strong codes. Saint Laurent competes globally with the most-high-end exclusive luxury brands and occupies a leading position.
ABOUT RAISING MALAWI Established in 2006 in response to the orphan crisis created by the AIDS epidemic, Raising Malawi has supported Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children with critical resources including education, medical care, food, shelter, and psychosocial support. Raising Malawi has run extensive programs in its sixteen years, including founding the arts program at Jacaranda School, constructing 14 primary schools and 1 secondary school in rural villages previously lacking physical school structures. Raising Malawi built the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, which has revolutionized children’s healthcare in Malawi via the creation of a free-standing state- of-the art paediatric surgery & intensive care facility on the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital grounds. Raising Malawi has proven over time its ability to grow and adjust to meet the needs of Malawi’s most vulnerable youth and will continue to do so for decades to come.
ABOUT CHRISTIE’S Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai). Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s also achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace. Following the groundbreaking 2021 sale of the first digital art NFT ever offered by a global auction house (Beeple’s Everydays), Christie’s recently launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability by reducing our carbon emissions by 50% and pledging to be net zero by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change. Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. * Pleasenotewhenquotingestimatesabovethatotherfeeswillapplyinadditiontothehammerprice–seeSectionDoftheConditionsof Sale at the back of the sale catalogue. * Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.