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Carla Ciuffo
Animal Instincts




Tinney Contemporary is proud to present Animal Instincts, an exhibition showcasing new works by Carla Ciuffo. The new work explores the idea of humanity’s inner voices which guide instinct, as inspired by the reactions of others during a global pandemic.

Works with titles “I Do”, “The Promise”, and “Wedding Party” take the viewer through familiar and traditional social gatherings that celebrate and solidify concepts of family and love. However, “Animal Instincts” implies contrast between instinctual versus societal motives to these rituals. Other works with titles like “Gossip” and “Menage a Trois” begin to break the idealistic rituals and expand further into social behavior, while the juxtaposition of three figures in “Menage a Trois”, and “Sisters” examine complex human relationships;  familial, platonic, and romantic.

The anthropomorphic figures seen in the work read at first as an acknowledgment to animalistic instincts within humans. And yet, within the wedding, gossiping, promising, and wine drinking of these figures, there is also a god or goddess-like mythological look to them. While many religions have gods and goddesses which share animal and human features, these aren’t seen as basic low instinct but rather signs of power and otherworldliness. In this way viewers begin to look at these innate instincts as perhaps the root of human intellect, the motivation of society, rather than the opposite.


Viewers are offered open ended narratives which intertwine familiar and mythological imagery encourage an engagement with these questions, and an exploration as to what these instincts may stir up in ourselves.

Carla Ciuffo’s work lies somewhere between photography, collage, and video art. Narrative, abstract, and lyrical imagery blend in elements of texture and light as Ciuffo plays with the dynamics of constructing and deconstructing the boundaries of her photographic world. “It speaks to the enigma of being human” says Carla.

Originally a New Yorker, Carla Ciuffo currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, and has lived in the south for the past decade. She is a recipient of the Woman Art Award 2017 for the Women’s Essence Show, Espace Cominnes, Paris, France, and her work can be found in collections and corporate installations can be found throughout the United States and Europe. Her corporate commissions have included Pinnacle Bank, The Palmer Group, INSBANK, Spectrum | Emery, Crescent Communities, Fulcher Investment Properties, Jackson Thornton, Kalisher Design Group, and more. Most notably, her work of iconic contemporary artists is in the collection of the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Nashville, TN.


June 19, 2020


︎︎︎ Exhibition List