.

Nude Madonna Photo Fetches $37,500 At Auction

February 13, 2009 8:55 AM ET

A nude, full-frontal photograph of Madonna sold at auction for $37,500 yesterday in New York, the AP reports. The black-and-white photo, which shows a 20-year-old Madonna Louise Ciccone, as she was known then, was taken by photographer Liz Friedlander and features in a 1985 issue of Playboy. The photograph instantly became the highest-priced photo of the Material Girl to ever sell at auction, beating out the top bid of $15,000 for the Herb Ritts-shot cover of True Blue. It's not the hefty fee a U.S. collector shelled out for Jimi Hendrix's 1965 Strat or the nearly million bucks a U.K. bidder paid for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band bass drum cover, but it's more than Bob Dylan's letter to Jerry Garcia fetched. (Check out our full report on Rock's Rarest Artifacts for more.)

The photo was taken in 1979, roughly three years before Madonna's debut single "Everybody" was released. As the story goes, Madonna responded to a classified ad seeking a nude model. In all, six photos from that shoot were sold to Playboy. According to Friedlander, Madonna "seemed very confident, a street-wise girl. She told me she was putting a band together but half the kids that age are doing that. She was a good professional model." (Looking for more Madge photos? The non-nude kind? Check out our Sticky & Sweet Tour gallery or our massive Madonna gallery. Also see: Getting Naked - Stars Show Skin on RS Covers.)

As Madonna has already proven to be recession-proof, claiming the title of top moneymaker of 2008, it comes as no surprise that the photo sold for more than double its expected sale price. Christie's Auction House estimated a $15,000 sale, but an unnamed Madonna-loving European buyer purchased the photo for $37,500. Not bad, especially Madonna is rumored only to have gotten $25 for the nude photo shoot. Another Madonna photograph from the auction, this time by Helmut Newton and also from Playboy, had a top bid of $18,750, meaning yesterday was a good day to be a Madonna photograph.

Related Stories:

Madonna Tour Rakes In $91.5 Million, On Pace For Records
Early Madonna Recordings Hit Web, Feature Material Girl's First Songs
Madonna Leads 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com