11 HeavenHell Art Gallery Director Nicole Zambrano Wants Her Clients to Pay in Cryptocurrency

We spoke to the director of the Miami location about the gallery’s unique payment practices and the meaning behind its unusual name.

Nicole Zambrano of 11 Heaven Hell Gallery, Miami.
Nicole Zambrano of 11 Heaven Hell Gallery, Miami.

Visiting 11 HeavenHell Art Gallery—which in its Miami location is painted entirely black and red, and has black modernist furniture to boot—is like seeing an early-aughts White Stripes album cover come to life.

The unconventional decor matches another atypical practice: the gallery, founded by Italian dealer Stefania Minutaglio in 2017, accepts payments in Bitcoin.

We spoke to Nicole Zambrano, director of the Miami location (there is also a space in Rome), to find out more about the gallery’s unique payment practices and the meaning behind its unusual name.

A work by Marco Guglielmi, also known as Reimmortal. Courtesy of 11 HeavenHell.

A work by Marco Guglielmi, also known as Reimmortal. Courtesy of 11 HeavenHell.

Can you explain the meaning behind the gallery’s name?

Historically, the number 11 symbolizes balance, which can be felt within ourselves and in the world around us. On earth, we are challenged to find the balance between heaven and hell.

This can be presented in different forms. However, it is up to us to maintain the equilibrium by learning and growing from the two.

The gallery accepts Bitcoin. What was behind that decision?

At 11 HellHeaven, we pride ourselves in paving the way towards the future. Bitcoin, along with other forms of cryptocurrency, is simply the direction in which the global market is moving. This will only make our art and gallery more accessible to a global audience.

11 HeavenHell's Miami gallery space.

11 HeavenHell’s Miami gallery space.

What kinds of collectors come to 11 HellHeaven?

The ideal collector at 11 HellHeaven is a free thinker: someone who has an open mind and is willing to experience different perspectives, who doesn’t just “buy art with the ear,” and doesn’t allow himself to be influenced by fashions, but expresses purposeful and responsive purchasing choices.

At the gallery, we’ve come up with the term “Freethinker Collector.” This person goes beyond having the common ideals of the masses and is willing to go against the tide. The Freethinker is someone who considers other perspectives and remains constantly open to growth and knowledge. The Freethinker is the ideal interlocutor for a gallery that operates as an art hub where different forms of art coexist together.

What do you have on view, by appointment, in Miami right now?

At our black-and-red cube in Miami, we currently have the “MEGAGONG” series, by artist and sound designer Marco Guglielmi, who is known by the name Reimmortal. This exhibition features three individual MEGAGONGS titled Ra, Orbita, and Eclisse, along with a Reimmortal’s Nana Bianca (White Dwarf #2).

Reimmortal has a very distinct and unique approach to art in which each installation engages both vision and sound in a “sonic” interactive experience.

On our website, we also have on display “Pop Graffiti,” a virtual exhibition of works by the artist ROMANHO. ROMANHO has an idiosyncratic fashion of combining Pop art and Cubist forms to create fun and unique portraits.

Romanho, Social Mask (2018). Courtesy of 11 HeavenHell.

Romanho, Social Mask (2018). Courtesy of 11 HeavenHell.

What does the gallery see as the future of collecting?

The future of collecting is going to be virtual. We have already begun to position our gallery for that future. By accepting cryptocurrencies and beginning to showcase virtual exhibitions monthly, we open our doors to the global market of the future. We hope to continue being one of the vanguards of this new reality.

If you could own any artwork, by any artist in history, what would it be?

If it really could be just one, it would have to be Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes. This painting is not only beautiful, but bold. As a woman working in the art industry—and learning from a bold and intelligent woman at 11 HellHeaven—it is important to see strong women being represented in art. It is not only the future of the industry but the world.

These kinds of images are necessary to represent our future role models and leaders. And both Artemisia and Judith were genuine Freethinkers, weren’t they?

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