Jendayi Berry has undertaken many careers while “trying to figure out how to find my voice, my purpose,” he says.
He’s worked in fashion, designing and producing hand-painted t-shirts and hoodies “with a story to tell” while art directing the company’s media and marketing initiatives. He tried out the corporate world as a personal banker. Starting as a concrete restoration technician, he worked his way up to a foreman position. All the while, however, he’s been making art using epoxy resin fluid.
Berry’s vibrant and kinetic artworks, which flow with movement, shape, color, and line, have been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, as well as in galleries including Public Functionary and Tres Leches. Further, he’s current collaborating with Habitation Furnishing & Design in The District Edina—which sells and commissions his work for clients.
He’s also launching a new artisan interiors business, JBA Decorative Coatings & Décor. Using epoxy resin combined with pigments, inks, and dyes, Berry refurbishes floors and countertops with custom finishes. “Right now,” Berry says, “I really consider myself an artrepreneur.”
Your new company and your art practice dovetail beautifully.
Yes, they do. I paint and sell epoxy resin-fluid abstract artwork through my website, and now I’m also presenting the same application to residential and commercial clients as an interiors service. Essentially, my target market can choose to buy my artwork for their walls, or, they can have my artwork on their kitchen countertops and floors.
Describe how you create the works you call Fluids.
Fluids is a style of painting and also a collection I offer. These are resin pours on canvas, which I sell as posters (or prints on paper) or prints on canvas. I layer the colors in circles on the canvas then blow them to create the finished webbing and networks. This allows for white space to appear, creating a sense of topography. I’m now moving into creating these works on boards. If I feel the energy of the work is starting to flag, I bring in portraits like those of James Baldwin or Coretta Scott King to bring the energy back up, and the fluid becomes the background.
What do you experience, or how do you feel inspired, when you’re creating art?
The Fluids are how I get into my mood, my zone, my vibration. Then, I like to spend time on the works I call Exploratories, including The Kiss and Indigo Canvas. These are what I live for. With everything that’s been going on in society, these are about the love I feel for my wife, my children, my family, my community. I paint these with what I call a “gun,” God, the universe, and nature. These works express my truth and are my weapon to bring change and awareness to people.
How does this approach translate to your new interiors business?
I’m already an artist. It’s my selling point. I’ll be using the same materials in my artwork to transform worn or outdated kitchen and bathroom countertops, floors, and backsplashes into functional, beautiful spaces that add value to residential and commercial projects. My clients will be working with an artist to create a masterpiece while being cost effective.