When Madonna first released her coffee table book, Sex, in 1992, it caused a worldwide scandal. Now, in honor of its reissue, it’s being celebrated next week at Art Basel Miami Beach, one of the world’s premier art shows and an important event on the global art world calendar.
When Sex first came out, it was sealed in a Mylar bag so you couldn’t page through it in the bookstore. That’s because it was full of photos shot by Steven Meisel that showed Madonna and celebrities like Naomi Campbell, actress Isabella Rossellini and rappers Vanilla Ice and Big Daddy Kane fully nude and simulating various sex acts. Madonna also provided the racy text for the book, which she wrote as a character called Mistress Dita.
Despite the controversy surrounding the book, it sold more than 150,000 copies on its first day in the U.S., and went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. It’s been out of print for years, but now, Yves Saint Laurent‘s lifestyle brand, Rive Droite, is teaming with publishers Callaway New York to issue 800 copies. A limited number of those will be signed by Madonna and auctioned off, with proceeds going to her charity Raising Malawi.
In addition, during Art Basel Miami, the brand is putting up a beachfront gallery featuring large-format images from the book — images it describes as “once shocking, now timeless.” You’ll have to be over 18 to visit it, but admission is free; t-shirts and tote bags will also be available if you can’t afford the book.
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