Zeynep Tekiner is an internationally-inspired oil painter and visual artist with over a decade of experience in her field. Although her love for art has taken her across the world, Zeynep now lives and studies in New York City, where she is currently enrolled in a graduate studies program at the New York Academy of Art.

Zeynep Tekiner is a New York native; she was born in Manhattan and spent most of her early years in Scarsdale, New York. However, after she graduated from high school in 1999, Zeynep decided to leave the United States altogether and attend university abroad. She studied at Franklin University in Switzerland for the next four years, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Communication Arts, with an additional minor in Studio Art and Literature.

After finishing her bachelor’s, Zeynep Tekiner decided to move to Turkey and paint in private studios in Ankara and Istanbul. A first-generation Turkish-American herself, Zeynep sought to immerse herself in the nation’s culture and art. For five years, Zeynep studied and created art in various studios before settling in at noted installation and media artist Neriman Polat’s studio in 2008. She stayed at Polat’s studio for six years, and in her final year in residence worked with two other Istanbul-based artists to organize and launch “Spectacle,” a group show, at the Akatlar Cultural Center.

During her years residing in Turkey, Zeynep Tekiner witnessed the effect that mounting political divisions and simmering social tensions enacted on her own and others’ daily lives. As she watched factions of Turkey’s population struggle to define a “true” Turkish identity, Zeynep found herself caught in a need to capture the nationwide anxiety she saw played out in daily life. As a result, Zeynep Tekiner’s art style evolved into one characterized by its irony, humor, duality and – most of all – by its quiet awareness of the tensions simmering even in the ordinary.

Tekiner’s primary artistic focus is portraiture; she prefers to draw friends, family members, and occasionally strangers she encounters in her daily life. In painting the body, Zeynep Tekiner strives to capture a commonality in the human experience, and find the underlying notes of tension in everyday occurrences.

Zeynep Tekiner left Polat’s studio and Ankara in 2015, when she moved back to New York City. Intent on pursuing her passion for painting, Zeynep enrolled in a fine arts certification program at the New York Academy of Art. After completing her certification courses in 2016, Zeynep decided to continue her education, and enroll in a Master’s program at the Academy. She intends to graduate in 2018 with a Masters in Fine Art and Painting, and continue creating art independently.  

In her spare time, Zeynep enjoys visiting art exhibits in New York City.