A black and white, nude photo of a 20-year-old Madonna went for $37,500 at auction Thursday, an apparent record auction price for a photograph of the superstar singer.
An unnamed European buyer bought the picture, which had been expected to sell for up to $15,000, according to Christie’s auction house.
Madonna, was a dancer trying to make ends meet when she answered a newspaper ad seeking a nude model. She may have been paid as little as $25 for the 1979 photo session.
Lee Friedlander’s image appeared in Playboy in 1985. Friedlander has said of the photo session that 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.”
Christie’s states, the photograph auctioned Thursday was one of six from that shoot that appeared in Playboy; the other five pictures were sold together in 2003 for $7,170.
Another photograph of Madonna, by Helmut Newton, sold Thursday for $18,750, beating a $15,000 estimate. In that shot, also sold to Playboy in the 1980s, Madonna sports lingerie, curly blond hair and a seductive expression. A man kneels beside her, according to Christie’s.
Do you think Madonna regrets answering that ad?