This Guy Loves His 13,000 Pens

The Norwegian photographer Kristine Wathne recently embarked on a quest to document some of her country's strangest collections.

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Dec 8 2016, 4:40pm

Kristine Wathne is a young, talented artist living in Norway who is currently studying photography for her undergrad. Her first book, Mania, came out earlier this year and documents seven people and their strange collections of ultra-tight jeans, wedding dresses, Thai souvenirs, 50s paraphernalia, and pens, among other oddities. She says the project "was driven by a fascination for the atypical—of collectors, fetishism, and subculture." Here's a taste of what's inside the book.

Kristine Wathne is a photographer based in Trondheim, Norway. You can follow her work here.

Arve Møllevik has been collecting 80s clothing for more than 20 years. In his closet, he has about 100 pairs of jeans and unisex tights. The tighter, the better, he insists.

Jan Roger Elstad wanted to do something that he thought no other man had done before. He had seen a pile of wedding dresses in the trash and saved them. Then, in 1991, he started buying his own and storing them in his basement. He now owns more than 400 wedding dresses.

Harald Haraldsen travels whenever he gets the chance and has been to more than 46 countries. He dedicated the largest section of his extravagant and souvenir-laced living room to his favorite nation, Thailand, which has visited at least 60 times. A model of a Thai temple sits in the middle of his floor.

Karl-Erik Johansen has devoted his life and home to his love of the 50s. When he was nine, he began purchasing LPs, and in time, it became all he spent his money on. As he got older, though, his mother gave him an ultimatum: If he wanted to stay in her house, he had to stop his collecting habit, because it was taking up far too much room. He moved out immediately, with his 70,000 LPs in hand. “I don’t feel the need to have a wife or kids," he told Wathne. "This is my life, and I’m loving it.”

Maria Toftum became obsessed with royalty when Princess Diana died in 1997. Now, she constantly looks around for royal effects and runs 20 Facebook groups—with a total of 10,000 members—where she posts photos of dead kings and queens.

Ole Elvis Andersen’s fascination with Elvis Presley has been growing since he was 12 years old. In 1992, Andersen legally added Elvis as his middle name, since everyone was just calling him Elvis anyway. His very religious parents would tell him again and again that he would go to hell if he didn’t stop listening to rock music. He didn't listen.

Rolf Ressem owns more than 13,000 pens, which he stores in boxes, suitcases, and, for the best ones, file folders. He's part of a club of pen enthusiasts that includes 400 like-minded people around the world. A few years ago, Ressem tried to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pens. Officials counted his pens for more than 48 hours, but sadly he was two short.