The 23PINE story

The 23PINE story

Our journey at 23PINE began with a love for nature's beauty and a fascination with photography. Three people met in an apartment in New York and decided to start a company together where their common interest in photography and books could evolve. Stefan, Jörgen and Karin.

 We teamed up with talented photographers who specialized in everything from skiing to surfing, documentary photography and to documenting the great outdoors. Our goal? To make their stunning work affordable and accessible to all. Excellence and Access.

We also hade the pleasure to welcoming Lars Nittve onboard. As a passionated skier, mountaineer and who also living in the mountains when he is not travelling the world – Lars came onboard as our Strategical Curatorial Advisor working together with our Creative Director and co-founder Jörgen Ringstrand. We are very happy to have Lars in our team.

Read his own words below:

”I was asked what prompted me to join 23Pine – I have after all primarily worked with some of the world’s most prestigious art museums – and before then in academia…

When I think about it, I would say that there are three, very different, things that taken together really made me totally enthusiastic when the founding partners Jörgen Ringstrand and Stefan Engström told me about their plans. The first is my experience from Hong Kong and my more than six years of working on building up one of the world’s most ambitious museums – M+. One of the first things that struck me when we started to develop the ideas, the conceptual framework, for this global museum that should “look at the world from a Hong Kong perspective”, was that the traditional categories we use in the museums in the West – “visual art”, “design”, “architecture”, “cinema” and so on, even if they of course existed, where not so important in Asia. A successful designer could easily also be a very successful artist. An artist also an architect and the distinction between for example  “photography” and “art” was much more blurred than in the West. The examples can be many – but the main point is that these categories, which are all western constructs, are not as solid in Asia, and especially not in East Asia, as they are in Europe and North America. Rather are they very fluid and permeable and a practitioner can easily and without risking their status slide between them. I found this extremely liberating and exciting – at the same time as it was a challenge to conceptualize how to build, and later present, a collection that took this different condition into account. That respected it. But in relation to 23Pine – this experience of “fluid categories” was important for me.

The second thing is rather private – and linked to my life-long passion (besides the one for art) for skiing. Over the years I have been reading ski magazines and especially during the non-skiing season enjoyed the inspiring photographs of snowy mountains and daring skiers. And over time it struck me that some of these photographers where true masters – but they were isolated in their little bubble of skiing aficionados. And of course, the same phenomenon can be found in many specialised and compartmentalised areas – be it gardening or surfing or hiking or what not. I like the idea to give these master photographers, as well as the more broadly recognized photographers from the fashion industry an equal platform (as a matter of fact I co-curated an exhibition at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet called Fashination, which investigated and celebrated the mutual relationship between art, fashion and fashion photography already in 2003, so the thoughts were already there…).

And finally, I truly love the fundamentally democratic idea behind 23Pine. With modern printing techniques it is possible to produce truly high-quality photographic images at a very accessible price. Why refrain from that? Why not try to make the best photography around the world available to everyone? Because this is at the heart of 23Pine – even though we now and then may go “all in” and do a very special project with very different budgets. At the heart 23Pine is about Excellence and Access. That is something I really like!”

- Lars Nittve