The most recent, the Demuth 5 [The Demuth American Dream No. 5], is, in a way, a second-hand or even a third-hand commemorating because Demuth was in a way commemorating the poem that William Carlos Williams had written [The Great Figure] or the other way around. I’m not sure which came first. And I’m in a sense commemorating not only the painting, Demuth 5 [I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold], but the poem again. Also the friendship of William Carlos Williams and Demuth and by numerical coincidence commemorating a very complicated situation in that the two dates on that painting are 1928 and ’63, the ’63 being the year that I did it. ’28 was the year that the Demuth painting was done which was the year of my birth, and from 28 from 63 is 35 which was my age at that time and the painting, the very central element of the painting is 3-5s, or 35. And Demuth died in 1935 and Williams Carlos Williams died in 1963, so it became a very complicated commemorative.
— 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. 69.