Anny Shaw: Can you tell me about this early 2006 gold and black “Alphabet” painting?
Robert Indiana: That’s the first.
Shaw: What is the significance of the black balls under each letter?
Indiana: It’s a personal commentary on my situation, and that is, in New York I have been blackballed, excluded.
Shaw: Was that while you were still there?
Indiana: It started a long time ago, mainly it was the Castelli gang, Warhol, etc.
Shaw: What happened?
Indiana: I have never been given a museum retrospective [in New York, until Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014], all my peers have been given museum retrospectives. As my father was thrown out of the masons when he got divorced from my mother, these kind of things happen.
Shaw: How did the “Alphabet” series develop from there? I saw a red and gold version in the sail loft.
Indiana: [The series developed] out of this first painting. [It comes from] bemoaning my relationship with New York—divorce.
Excerpt from Anny Shaw, "Artist Interview: Robert Indiana," Art Newspaper (October 4, 2013).