Arthur Carr: An interesting aspect of your work is in the way you have incorporated your present surroundings into what you’re doing.
Robert Indiana: It would seem to be that way, Arthur. First of all, there, of course, was that aspect, even in Coenties Slip; although it was a small building I was still on the top floor and, when I looked out on the Slip, I always looked down on the Slip. So, for instance, that very wide shape that I used in the triptych, The Melville Triptych, to indicate Coenties Slip, I saw every day for eight years and I looked out my window, there it was and, of course, that made it very simple to recognize the straightness of Whitehall and, of course, Corlears Hook in itself in which suggests its own image and, therefore, these things seemed natural to work with. Quite obviously someone else could have a very different—even working with the same material—might have a different vision of what these locations mean. What I think could be relevant, Arthur, is that therefore my work has a cartographic quality, and I could say that, for instance, maps always fascinated me.
Excerpt from “The Reminiscences of Robert Indiana.” New York, November 1965. Arthur C. Carr papers; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.