. . . the 8 becomes a very somber [number] and of all the numbers is the most depressed. The reason that the 8 happens to be that way is that at the time I was doing it I was depressed, and it had actually been a much happier painting when it was first done. But I changed the colors.
— Robert Indiana
Arthur C. Carr, “The Reminiscences of Robert Indiana,” New York, November 1965, Arthur C. Carr papers; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library, p. 97.