In memoriam Goksin Sipahioglu

Goksin Sipahioglu , a photojournalist, and the founder of the Paris based Sipa Press, died this week, at age 84.

He was a legend , one of the few western journalists in Cuba during the Missile Crisis. His photo of a young Cuban woman in a skirt and high heels standing with a gun is a knock-out . He gave me, and thousands of other photographers their start, like the great, Maggie Steber, Alexandra Boulat, Luc Delahaye, Olivier Jobard, Reza, Abbas, and Alfred. Brilliant photo editors and managers worked there such as: Sue Brisk, Jim Colton, and Ayperi Karabuda Ecer. For me, in the 1980 and 1990’s it was wild place, full of drama and dysfunction, but also great excitement and promise. Goksin was the king of it all. A tall, elegant, striking man with huge hands, who loved photos and loved women even more. He once asked if a superstar photographer who he adored and had left him, (they always did) would return if he bought her a Mercedes. That was Goksin. A figure from another time. He will be deeply missed. Condolences to all who knew him. Below, a photo from the first story I ever shot for them. Baby Raymond. 1987. Born at 16 pounds. They sold it like mad.
©Nina Berman 1987, All rights reserved

2 thoughts on “In memoriam Goksin Sipahioglu”

  1. We were such lucky girls, Nina, to meet, to work, to be pushed by Goksin. You have
    written a lovely remembrance of this great man. I cannot believe he is gone. I know
    he cannot live forever but I wish he could. He was one-of-a-kind for sure. Where would
    we be without experiencing—and being able to brag about it—Goksin?
    And that baby photo is wonderful!

  2. Yes indeed- I’ll never forget this man- I arrived in Paris in 1983 with very little money- he hired me on the spot to edit the files at sipa and paid me under the table. Of course I had to constantly remind him that I needed the francs to pay my rent but he always came through and eventually (because he knew that I REALLY wanted to shoot) gave me an advance to cover a story in Venice. What a character ! RIP Goksin ….

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