“There are these two aspects to my work. I would like to think of the word and the visual plastic quality being fused in such a way that they cannot be separated and fused in such a way and in such a unique way that no one else has ever worked in this manner, shall we say, as opposed, not as opposed, but, shall we say, in the manner of how words were used in the Middle Ages or how words were used in mosques . . . and as my work is, it is not really religious, but I would like to feel that I had brought the word back to such a distance that it has almost the quality, of shall we say, one of the Ten Commandments. It has that kind of removal from people that it assumes that kind of importance. I should like to make ‘Eat,’ for instance, by my work have that much significance because to me it is that significant. It is the fundamental of human existence which in a—to a large extent people ignore, prefer to ignore, due to other reasons.”
— Robert Indiana
Excerpt from “The Reminiscences of Robert Indiana.” New York, November 1965. Arthur C. Carr papers; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.