When Madonna first released her controversial and groundbreaking SEX book back in 1992 it caused an uproar amongst conservatives, feminists and critics alike. Released in tandem with her Erotica album and shot by Madonna’s frequent collaborator Steven Meisel, the book was, to put it mildly, a sensation that caused a cultural reset within the ideas of what pop stars were meant to behave like.
Fast forward 30 years and Madonna is bringing SEX back with a little help from Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach.
This week, Saint Laurent confirmed their presence at the infamous art show with an exbition that would be co-curated by Vaccarello and Madonna which would celebrate the re-edition of SEX by Saint Laurent Rive Droit.
The exhibition will include large-format images taken from the book – which also featured fellow legends Naomi Campbell, Big Daddy Kane and gay porn star Joey Stefano – which will be on view in a temporary beachfront box custom built for the fair.
That Vaccarello – and by extension Saint Laurent – would be the designer to bring this project to life and celebrate one of pop culture’s most unforgettable moments is no surprise. Sex – or sensuality – has been part of Saint Laurent’s DNA since the very beginning, when the founder, the late Yves Saint Laurent, sent see-through blouses down the runway, freeing the nipple long before it was a hashtag and everyone else was raging about miniskirts.
The house has also had a long-standing tradition of combining the art world with fashion, going back Yves’ personal relationships with Andy Warhol and the 1965 Mondrian collection that marked such a pivotal moment of the modern dress.
Saint Laurent’s SEX re-issue is published by Callaway, New York and will have a bespoke run of 800 copies created exclusively for Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. A limited number of these will be signed by Madonna and proceeds benefiting the artist’s Raising Malawi charity via an auction in the upcoming months.
The Saint Laurent beachfront gallery will be free to visit for anyone over age 18 from November 29 to December 4 (10 AM – 7 PM).