Did NeNe Leakes Inspire a Real Housewives of Macaroni Art Exhibit?

An insult about ramen noodles has boiled over into a hot new show.

Bravo is a frequent muse for Jason Mecier, a celebrity pop culture artist from San Francisco. In the past, he’s rendered Andy Cohen in Tic-Tacs and Lisa Vanderpump with Giggy in Hot Tamales and Chiclets. Now, he’s returning to a favorite old-school medium to pay homage to 15 iconic domestic goddesses with an exhibit called Real Housewives of Macaroni.

Photo: Jason Mecier

The show is the culmination of 25 years of macaroni art, his original medium. He now declares himself the “Macaroni Monet,” which is evident in the range of expressions he coaxes out of these portraits, whether it’s sly facial shade from The Real Housewives of Potomac's Karen Huger or extra pop in The Real Housewives of New York City's Ramona Singer’s eyes. Early reviews of the concept are fabulous: Sonja Morgan said her portrait makes her feel “sentimental,” Phaedra Parks declared hers “amazing,” and Lisa Rinna’s received a Mazel of the Day from Andy on Watch What Happens Live in March!

Photo: Jason Mecier 

Real Housewives of Macaroni will be on display at Dog Eared Books in San Francisco’s Castro from October through December, with an opening reception on October 13 and books for sale by the featured ladies. From there, Mecier would love to bring the exhibit to Beverly Hills, New York, or any of the Housewives locales. He’s in search of venues and hints that it could make for a perfect onscreen Housewives activity: “It could be somewhere where they could go to the art opening,” he suggests. “I wish!”

Mecier is well-known for making stunning portraits out of trash that celebrities send him, but admits that none of the Housewives have been willing to part with their actual discards just yet. Top of his wish list for trash is Lisa Vanderpump: “In my mind she’s sort of like the queen of everyone,” he praises. “It could be made of diamonds and her fanciest castoffs!”

Photo: Jason Mecier 

Mecier tends to do his work with Bravo programs on in the background (noting that his boyfriend doesn’t allow him to talk when Below Deck is airing), so he’s fluent in the language and nuances of the Bravolebrity world. He watches all of the Real Housewives editions and considers Beverly Hills a favorite, but it was NeNe Leakes who inspired this new art exhibit. See, when NeNe faced off against Claudia Jordan in Puerto Rico back in Season 7, Claudia said that NeNe’s hair looked like a pack of uncooked ramen noodles, which spawned an Internet meme. Mecier made a portrait of NeNe with ramen hair and then made one for RHOA’s Kim Fields because he thought “Tootie had even more Top Ramen hair.”

Photo: Jason Mecier 

Set off by gilded macaroni frames, the RHOM ladies make a strong statement, according to the artist.

“Half of them I think look really good and half of them I think, uh, it’s macaroni art,” he laughs.

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NeNe LeakesLisa VanderpumpPhaedra Parks

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