Madonna’s stunning black-and-white photo, showing her smoking a cigarette in bed nude ignited heated bidding at Bonhams auction in New York. The image finally sold for $25,000, three times the estimated price.
“It is an absolutely stunning image and it is just a beautiful tone of grey. It is not just black and white it is grey and silvery,” said Bonham’s spokesperson Judith Eurich.
“Madonna was posing for a number of photographers at the time this was taken in the 1990s when she was in her early 30s,” she added. “She was going through a phase of having bleach blonde hair and heavy dark eye make-up that gave her a dramatic look – and of course she has a gorgeous body.”
Renown fashion photographer Steven Meisel captured the image and signed it with the annotation “ed no.1.” Meisel also shot Madonna’s scandalous coffeetable book “Sex” a compendium of photos of her nude in erotic poses.
The photo is representative of Madonna’s “Blonde Ambition” period when she wore her hair short and dyed platinum blonde like Marilyn Monroe’s. Then 31, the singer was at the height of her fame. She not only was producing best-selling albums, but also starring in films.
She played “Breathless” Mahoney in the Warren Beatty film Dick Tracy (1990). She was named “Artist of the Decade” by MTV, for her groundbreaking work in the ’80s.
Madonna had her limits but she knew she had the power to define pop culture. “I know that I’m not the best singer and I know that I’m not the best dancer. ‘But, I can f*****g push people’s buttons and be as provocative as I want. The tour’s goal is to break useless taboos,” she said.