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Photos from Madonna’s notorious ‘SEX’ book going on tour and under the hammer

@Madonna and Steven Meisel

Madonna‘s 1992 coffee table book SEX, which was out of print for yearswas reissued last year, and a series of photos was displayed at the Art Basel Miami Beach art show. Now, 40 of its images are being auctioned off in October and a curated selection of them will be touring around the world.

In case you’re unaware, the release of SEX caused worldwide scandal. It was sealed in a Mylar bag so you couldn’t page through it in the bookstore because it contains photos shot by Steven Meisel that showed Madonna and various celebrities completely nude and simulating sex acts. Madonna also provided the racy text for the book, which she wrote as a character called Mistress Dita.

Among the celebs who frolicked with Madonna in the book were Naomi Campbell, actress Isabella Rossellini, and rappers Vanilla Ice and Big Daddy Kane. Despite the controversy, 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.

The exhibit, Madonna X Meisel — The SEX Photographs, arrives in London on May 23, Paris on June 27 and New York City on September 30. The New York exhibit, at Rockefeller Center, will culminate with a live Christie’s auction on October 6.  Each photo is estimated to sell for $150,000 to $250,000.

The auction will benefit Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi. She shared a few of the images on Instagram and wrote, “It took us 4 Decades and several Provocative photo shoots to open people’s minds through ART! It took @stevenmeiselofficial almost as long to join Instagram – just in time to announce our Christie’s auction…Proof that great causes can move mountains!”

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