Arthur Carr: Does the word, “concrete,” then, in any way capture what you’re doing? That you’re giving a concrete representation, perhaps, to what is really an abstract idea?
Robert Indiana: Very much, Arthur. And that could be pushed farther. . . . [Lawrence] Alloway described an essential difference between, shall we say, Motherwell and myself, as in that Motherwell’s use of words is cursive, and, shall we say, lyrical . . . and that mine is monumental, well, monumental can be, is one of those words which contains two different viewpoints, it can be derogatory or it can be a commendating [sic] viewpoint. One aspect of my work which I am conscious of myself is a frozen image, and that is, the word, shall we say, “Eat,” which to most people and certainly to most, in relation to most art, if art is about food, and you think of examples in the past, where lavish displays of food is [sic] on view and people feasting at tables, and things like this—”Eat” is a very—it’s an active situation. There is a great kind of dynamic situation about “Eat.” Now, in my paintings by the monumental or the sign aspect of the painting, it is a very frozen quality. . . . And, of course, there was a reason in that painting [Eat/Die (1962)] that it should be that way. Then, with my electric signs, the word “Eat” becomes activated. The lights are flashing and blinking and there’s a kind of, obviously on my part, a desire to be less, shall we say, monumental or less frozen, that I too would like to be more plastic . . .
Arthur C. Carr, "The Reminiscences of Robert Indiana," New York, November 1965, Arthur C. Carr papers; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library, pp. 121–22.