I don’t care anymore what anyone thinks. It doesn’t matter, you know, what I do or what I say. I just try to keep busy. Even my art’s, you know. . . . I do things just to keep busy. I don’t give a goddamn if. . . . I don’t even care to go to the Metropolitan Museum, and that was like a sacred place for me, and that meant, you know, I don’t even care to go there. So, Jesus, I don’t know what’s happening to me. I’m bored and blasé, you know. But I think my eyes. . . . I can’t see too good. Then I’ve been tired, I have a cold in my system. And it stays all summer and I’ve been tired as hell. Well, I’m feeling a little better now; maybe the cold’s worn off. I’ve got a little more pep. But when you’re saggy and tired and your eyes are not too sharp, you know, I get depressed.
—-Oral history interview with Reuben Nakian, 1981 June 9-17, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution