Sue Williams. Mom's Foot Blue and Orange. 1997

Sue Williams Mom's Foot Blue and Orange 1997

  • Not on view

Williams permeates her paintings with sexual motifs rendered in strokes of vivid color coupled with fluid, cartoonish energy. In this canvas, images of big toes emerge from a web of floppy blue and orange shapes. Tethered to Surrealism's rich network of visual allusions—chiefly to foot fetishism and an obsession with toe–licking—the artist uses displaced sexual motifs, such as spiky heels, pointy shoes, big toes, and pudendalike feet. She identifies the hinged feet seen in Don Martin's Mad Magazine cartoons as a source of inspiration. "People don't often talk about the fact that my work is funny," Williams comments, "but that's definitely one of my criteria. I'm really happy if the paint comes out well and it's a really goofy image, like a new dumb take on toes."

Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas
8' 2" x 9' (248.9 x 274.3 cm)
Carlos and Alison Spear Gómez Fund, Marcia Riklis Fund, and an anonymous fund
Object number
© 2021 Sue Willams
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].