“Coenties, of the dozen or so slips of Manhattan, is the oldest, largest and busiest of the lot . . . Here this heady confluence of all elements, the rock, the river, the sky and the fire of ship and commerce causes a natural magnetism that has drawn a dozen artists since to the Slip . . . Not only this, but every ship that passed on the river, every tug, every barge, every railroad car on every flatboat, every truck that passes below—on Slip, on South, on Front, on Water and on Pearl Streets—and every helicopter that now lands at the heliport a stone’s throw from my building—for progress pushes its way onto the obsolete waterfront, as sure to go as the artists collected by its rotting piers—carries those marks and legends that have set the style of my painting. The commercial brass stencils found in the deserted lofts—of numbers, of sail names, of the names of 19th century companies (The American Gas Works) became matrix and substance for my paintings and drawings. So then did all things weave together.”
— Robert Indiana
First published in Jan van der Marck. Richard Stankiewicz, Robert Indiana: An Exhibition of Recent Sculptures and Paintings. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1963.