Who are you?
I’m thr33som3s, a painter living in Brooklyn. And, I’m pretty sure I’m your ex-wife’s favorite NFT artist.
Explain your collection.
I work with gouache and vintage baseball cards and reimagine them as a sort of parallel baseball universe where teams made up of ex-boyfriends face off against a team with Godzilla playing right field. Or, the Cat Moms play against a team of Roman Catholic Cardinali. I digitally capture the paintings and release them as collectible, tradable, interactive “baseball cards” to my amazing collector community, The Grotto, which takes its name from the mid-1970’s cocktail lounge where we all sort of hang out and let the vibe take us where it will.
Why baseball cards?
It’s a nostalgia play for an America that long ago disappeared or never really existed. I like the idea of the baseball card as a cinematic trope… American kids trading them in a backyard treehouse, or sticking them in their bicycle spokes. It’s instantly recognizable by much of the world as truly American. Yet, today, most Americans are sort of clueless to it.
To take this antiquated notion of collectibles and play with them in the most modern of formats, the NFT, is terribly exciting for me. And it lets me work around a project that has been years and years in the making. I conceived of the parallel universe when I was 9 years old. And, a few years ago, when I started painting over old cards, I began to sense I could bring to life all that wackiness I’d imagined as a kid. —- the nft space makes it possible for an entire community of collectors to collect and trade these cards just like I had pictured they would so long ago.
Do you think coming from New York inspires your art?
So, I live in New York, but I’m from the old American West. —- born in a 2 room Adobe house next to the railroad tracks. But, coming to New York a few years ago definitely makes me feel like I’m a nineteen year old artist coming out here to make my name in the gritty metropolis. (Though, that’s not why I came, and when I got here I found far less grit and grime than you’d see in, say, Topeka Kansas.)
What sort of utility does your project have or have in store?
Everyone teases me for saying this all the time, but “all thr33som3s have future utility.”
I really believe the entire reason for art in an nft space is to offer utility, to have a reason that it’s more than a jpg. —- for every artist or collection that utility would be different.
For thr33som3s, although I have a number of specific utilities depending on the type of card, the main focus for utility is that holding a thr33som3s gives you an opportunity to purchase future releases. The older a card is, the more powerful its utility becomes. So, the longer you hold, the better chance you have of easily obtaining new pieces (which, of course, have their own utility which immediately begins to compound as well.)
The idea of “all thr33som3s have future utility” plays with the idea that though a given piece may have been used in one utility or another, as long as it exists (hasn’t been burned,) it will always have another use down the road. There is no such thing as a dead thr33som3s.
What adds value to your art?
This one is easy. Community. When someone buys their first thr33som3s they are guided into the Grotto… where all the utility plays sort of take shape. Immediately, they find hundreds of other collectors that thrive off off of the ever growing group of members.
I don’t know that there’s another community like it in this space. We have nearly 500 members… and all 500 interact with the group at least weekly. Everyday we have LFG, LiveFromtheGrotto, an hourlong voice chat (often goes 2 hours) where we do live drops and talk utility and just hang out. We’ll have 80-100 people in there for the full hour, daily. And, 250 will be there for special drops.
We have specific language channels for Spanish, Russian, and Indonesian Grottos.. more than half of the grotto is from outside the US.
You have had impressive primary and secondary sales since you began your account. How do you feel about your quick rise to nft stardom on hen?
It’s been a lot of fun. And, I’m super happy for the Grotto with all those amazing secondary sales. I’m intent on creating value for my collectors in everything I do. And, it’s important to me that if someone is willing to spend their money on thr33som3s then they should be rewarded with the lion’s share of the profit.
So far, we’re running at about 17% to me and 83% to the collectors from the overall thr33som3s gross. I always want to keep that at least in the 80% range.
I have fixed primary pricing for each series and it resets each time. So, the first card of every series will always only cost 1tz and no thr33som3s base card will ever cost more than 20tz. Though the last series peaked at 6tz for the highest price.
I do this so new collectors have just as much chance at building a strong portfolio and enjoying the market growth as the older collectors. No one should ever feel it’s too late for them to get started with thr33som3s.
You have a very punk/grunge style. What genre would you say your paintings are?
I play a lot with ironies… even the simple irony of a raggedy old baseball card holding a detailed hand-painted gouache work. But, outside the irony, I try to paint authentically. I try to stay away from idyllic images or subjects.
Does that make me grunge? I’m not sure.
I hope I’m raw and authentic and unpolished. A little rocknroll, a little sleaze, some mustache and salty sweat kisses.
What are some other collectible projects we should keep an eye out for?
I have two new projects. The first… quadsom3s… we just finished our first drops this week. They’re collector-created pieces. So, I took older paintings of blue and red and yellow and purple themes. Without explaining what they were doing exactly, I let my collectors combine them with new black and white Marlene Dietrich paintings I’d made to create their own palette of 21 different colors and values.
Next they grouped 4 of those colors together to form quadriptychs, which I minted per their arrangements. Again, they didn’t know this is what they were doing. The results were amazing. We started with 4 older cards… and ended up with 323 new pieces in 205 different combinations, with 140 1/1s in the bunch.
They’re a true collectible project. With rarity rankings and scarcity modes. And, of course they have major future utility. I’m also close to launching a brand new series on ETH, thr33zi3s. Think of it as a wholly hand painted collectible series with thr33som3s utility on steroids.
What do you want to say to all those who have collected your art?
All of the trust and dedication you’ve shown me over these months means the world to me. And, I’m so glad I’m not just the weird little rainman kid playing by himself anymore. Thanks for playing along with me.
To all the ladies, I’m a very giving and thorough lover. Thorough.